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Ecopetrol to Partner With Anadarko in Caribbean Block

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s Ecopetrol SA will team with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas producer by market value, to search for oil deposits in the Caribbean Sea.

Anadarko will own 50 percent of rights in the Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur blocks in Colombian territory, Bogota-based Ecopetrol said in an e-mailed statement today. The two companies also won a government concession to explore for oil in the Purple Angel block, it said. Ecopetrol didn’t provide any financial details in the statement.

The three blocks span 1.03 million hectares (2.55 million acres), according to state-run Ecopetrol. Ecopetrol holds other partnerships including one with Exxon Mobil Corp. to boost exploration in the South American country. Colombia’s largest oil company expects to invest $80 billion in projects through 2020 to increase production to the equivalent of 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, Ecopetrol said on Oct. 29.

Anadarko has acquired interests to explore in six deepwater blocks in Colombia covering about 8 million acres, spokesman John Christiansen said in an e-mailed response to questions today. The company will collect seismic data for the next two years at the blocks and begin drilling near the end of 2014, he said.

Ecopetrol slipped 0.4 percent to 5,300 pesos at the close in Bogota. Anadarko, based in The Woodlands, Texas, fell 1 percent to $74.75 in New York.

ConocoPhillips is the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer by market value. Independent oil companies don’t own refineries or a chemical business.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Craze in Santiago at mcraze@bloomberg.net; Edward Klump in Houston at eklump@bloomberg.net

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

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