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Colombia Pipeline Plans $400 Million Bond Sale: Ecopetrol

Oleoducto Central SA, owner of Colombia’s largest pipeline, is planning to sell about $400 million in dollar-denominated bonds this year to finance expansion plans, majority stakeholder Ecopetrol SA said.

The bonds will likely mature in seven to 10 years and the sale will take place in the second or third quarter, Camilo Marulanda, head of Ecopetrol’s Cenit infrastructure subsidiary, said in an interview at his Bogota office today.

“We are currently finishing the authorization process with the Finance Ministry,” Marulanda said. “We think it’s an issuance that could be very interesting for the market.”

The pipeline company, known as Ocensa, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone request for comment. The pipeline currently transports approximately 600,000 barrels of oil a day from Colombia’s central Llanos basin to the Caribbean coast. The expansion plan will add 35,000 barrels of capacity by the fourth quarter, with an additional 135,000 barrels by the end of 2015, solving Colombia’s pipeline shortfall, Marulanda said.

Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state oil company, owns about 73 percent of Ocensa. Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp, Total SA, Cia Espanola de Petroleos SAU and Talisman Energy Inc. announced the sale of their minority stakes in the pipeline last year to private-equity firms.

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