Ecopetrol May Extend Oil Search to Guatemala

CARTAGENA, Colombia (Dow Jones), Apr. 8, 2010

Colombia's state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol SA may bid for exploration rights in areas in Guatemala, the company's chief executive said Thursday.

The company has recently looked outside Colombia in a bid to expand its reserves. Ecopetrol already seeks oil in Peru, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.

Additionally, CEO Javier Gutierrez said, the company plans to expand the export capacity of its port of Covenas on the Caribbean coast to allow the loading of ships with a capacity of 2 million tons, up from 1 million tons.

Other companies, such as Occidental Petroleum and BP, use the facilities at Covenas to export oil and may participate in the financing of the project, Gutierrez said, though he didn't specify how much investment the project would require.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.