Ecopetrol Ups the Ante in Fuerte Norte, Fuerte Sur Offshore Blocks

Ecopetrol S.A and BHP Billiton Petroleum Corporation, through its Colombian subsidiary, executed an agreement to increase Ecopetrol's interest in the Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur blocks, both located in the Colombian Caribbean Ocean.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, BHP Billiton will assign to Ecopetrol 25% of its participation in the two blocks, as a result of which each company will have a 50% interest on the blocks.

The Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur blocks correspond to the hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation contracts executed in April 2006 by BHP Billiton and Ecopetrol with the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) and the joint operation agreements executed by the parties in June 2007.

The two blocks, with an approximate size of 954,050 hectares, are part of the projects located offshore in the Colombian Caribbean Ocean.
The assignment of the interest by BHP Billinton to Ecopetrol requires approval by the ANH.

Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil company and is among the top 40 oil companies in the world and the four largest oil companies in Latin America.