Colombian energy producer Ecopetrol S.A. (NYSE:EC) (Bogota) expects capital expenditures this year to run between $3.5 billion and $4.0 billion, with 85% of that amount earmarked for exploration and production, according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. Ecopetrol said it expects to produce between 715,000 and 725,000 barrels per day (BBL/d) of oil equivalent this year. Industrial Info is tracking $570 million in active Ecopetrol projects in the oil & gas industry.

Ecopetrol Chief Executive Officer Felipe Bayon said in the February report that the company plans to drill more than 620 development wells and at least 12 exploratory wells, with the use of 28 rigs. It also projects developing about 20 pilot projects to implement improved recovery technologies.

"In the refining segments, efforts are focused on optimizing operations at the new Cartagena refinery, where we forecast an EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] of at least 500 billion pesos [US$180 million] and a double-digit refining margin,” Bayon said. The company expects to achieve a milestone in oil & petroleum products, with its two refineries processing between 350,000 and 375,000 BBL/d, he added.

Listed below are some of the major Ecopetrol projects being tracked by Industrial Info.

  • Ecopetrol, with Occidental de Colombia, is building a $200 million crude oil steam injection system as part of the Teca-Cocorna revitalization project to overhaul crude oil wells in the mature Teca-Cocorna fields. Completion of the injection system is expected in late 2023.
  • The $155 million Cupiagua natural gas processing plant expansion is in the detailed engineering stage. The expansion would increase natural gas liquids production capacity from 40,000 BBL/d to 46,000 BBL/d. Construction kickoff is expected in third-quarter 2018, with completion in second quarter 2019.
  • A $3 million turnaround for a 57,000-BBL/d diesel hydrotreater unit at Ecopetrol’s Barrancabermeja refinery is expected to be completed this month. According to Reuters, the refinery, where workers recently went on strike over a salary issue, is expected to restart its cracking unit in the next few days.
  • Ecopetrol is proceeding with preparations for a $2 million hydrotreater refinery maintenance at its Cartagena refinery in early 2019.
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