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Ecopetrol Falls on Weaker 2013 Production Target: Bogota Mover

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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s largest oil company, fell after announcing a 2013 production target that trailed some analysts’ estimates as licensing delays and guerrilla attacks hampered output gains this year.

Ecopetrol will produce the equivalent of 798,000 barrels of oil a day next year, according to a filing on Dec. 14 after the stock market closed. The company had said in late 2011 that it planned to produce 800,000 barrels a day this year, before cutting the estimate in July to 780,000 barrels a day.

“The 2013 guidance falls short of our expectations,” Itau BBA SA analysts Paula Kovarsky and Diego Mendes said in a note to clients today. The company’s 2015 goal of 1 million barrels a day now seems “even more difficult to achieve,” said Kovarsky, who expects Ecopetrol to pump about 755,000 barrels a day this year.

The shares fell 0.7 percent to 5,300 pesos at the close in Bogota, the biggest drop since Dec. 4. Ecopetrol was the most heavily traded stock on the Colombian exchange by value. The country’s benchmark IGBC index climbed 0.4 percent.

Ecopetrol, 88.5 percent-owned by the Colombian government, plans to invest $9.5 billion next year, according to a regulatory filing on Dec. 14.

The company’s output through nine months of this year averaged 750,100 barrels a day, according to an October filing. That compared with 716,400 barrels a day during the same period of 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Jenkins in Bogota at cjenkins28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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