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Ecopetrol Third-Quarter Output Rises to Record Amid Attacks

Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL), Colombia’s largest oil company, said third-quarter profit rose 20 percent as output rose to a record even amid a surge in guerrilla attacks.

Consolidated net income rose to 3.86 trillion pesos ($2.05 billion), from 3.23 trillion pesos a year earlier, the Bogota-based company said today in a filing after the market closed.

“We achieved our best financial results of the last six quarters,” Chief Executive Officer Javier Gutierrez said in the report. “However, we continue to face a challenging environment, particularly due to the attacks on transport infrastructure.”

Production averaged a record 800,400 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the quarter, mainly due to higher output at the Chichimene, Apiay, Quifa and Rubiales fields, Gutierrez said. Ecopetrol is targeting an average daily production of 798,000 barrels in 2013.

Ecopetrol also reported a discovery at the Guainiz-1 well in the CPO-10 block in the province of Meta, central Colombia.

The company’s oil infrastructure has seen increased rebel attacks in recent weeks, including several on the Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline. There were 147 attacks on Colombia pipelines January-September 2013, an 18 percent increase from 2012, according to Colombia’s Ministry of Defense website.

Brent crude averaged $109.65 a barrel in the third quarter, little changed from $109.42 a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Willis in Bogota at awillis21@bloomberg.net

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

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