Ecopetrol $2.5 Billion Peru Investment Slowed by Permit Delays

Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL)’s $2.5 billion Peru investment plans are being held up by government permit delays, hindering the company’s plans to triple crude production in the Andean nation.

Peru’s government hasn’t authorized Colombia’s state oil company and partner Repsol SA (REP) to start exploration work at four northern jungle oil blocks they won in a bid round in October 2010, Carlos Rendon, Ecopetrol’s country manager in Peru, said in an interview today.

“The company is looking to accelerate development of our areas,” Rendon said on the sidelines of the BNamericas Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima. “But the reality in Peru is different from Colombia in terms of permits.”

Ecopetrol, based in Bogota, plans to triple production in Peru to 50,000 barrels a day by 2016, which would make it the nation’s largest crude producer ahead of Pluspetrol SA of Argentina and Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA. (PETR4) Peru has lined up $23 billion in energy investments during the next decade, according to state oil contracting agency Perupetro.

Ecopetrol fell 0.4 percent to 5,140 pesos in Bogota. The stock has climbed 23 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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