Ecopetrol Gains After Third Oil Find This Year: Bogota Mover

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil company, gained for a fifth day after announcing its third discovery in the country this year.

Ecopetrol climbed 0.6 percent to 4,180 pesos at 12:54 p.m. in Bogota. The shares have advanced 4.6 percent over five days after slumping to 3,995 pesos on May 20, the lowest since November 2011. The stock was the biggest contributor to today’s 0.3 percent gain in the benchmark Colombian Colcap index.

Ecopetrol found oil at its Cusuco 1 exploratory well in the Meta province in central Colombia, its third find in 2013, the company said in a statement today. Initial tests yielded an average of 140 barrels of oil per day, and the company will keep “running extensive testing” in the coming weeks, the statement said.

“It’s good because they’re discovering oil, even though it’s not a very significant discovery for Ecopetrol,” said Valeria Marconi, an analyst at Credicorp Capital’s Colombia unit. “The stock has fallen to a level at which it’s fairly attractive to re-take a stake in the company.”

Production in the first quarter grew 6.4 percent from a year earlier to 790,800 barrels of oil equivalent a day, Ecopetrol said in a May 3 regulatory filing. The Bogota-based company would need to increase production by 26 percent to reach its target of 1 million barrels per day by 2015.

Ecopetrol announced its first solo discovery of the year in March, with initial tests showing an average 202 barrels of oil a day. A second discovery announced in April found an initial 630 barrels a day, according to a regulatory filing.