Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol SA has signed Colombia’s first offshore exploration and production contract under a newly revised contract model.
According to a report in Reuters, the deal for a nearly 400,000-hectare (988,000-acre) bloc in the Caribbean is country’s first new oil and gas contract in more than four years.
The Col-5 tract in the Caribbean Sea is adjacent to US independent Anadarko Petroleum's Purple Angel gas find.
The country recently modified its bidding system for offshore oil and gas exploration contracts and relaunched bidding for more than 20 possible production areas, the report said.
The government, which last held an auction in 2014, repeatedly postponed bidding that had been set to take place last year because of company requests to change contract specifications.
“Ecopetrol will invest more than $250 million in this offshore project,” Luis Miguel Morelli, the head of the National Hydrocarbons Agency, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a report in Bloomberg said that the finance ministry of the country is weighing the sale of an 8.5 percent stake in Ecopetrol, worth about $3.6 billion. CEO Felipe Bayon said such a sale could take as long as two years to complete, and said the company is generating value for the government, which currently owns 88.5 percent of it.