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Pacific Rubiales Earnings Fall on Operational Challenges'

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., Colombia’s largest independent oil producer, reported a decline in first-quarter earnings due to “operational challenges.”

Net income dropped to $119 million, or 38 cents a share, from $127 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier, the Bogota-based company said today in a statement. Profit excluding some items missed the $157 million average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Output at the Rubiales field was lower in the latest quarter due to temporary restrictions on water disposal, the company said. It also cited additional transport costs associated with the unavailability of the Bicentenario Pipeline since the middle of February because of security issues.

Still, net production increased 16 percent from a year earlier to a record 148,827 barrels of oil equivalent a day, the company said. Revenue climbed 2 percent to a record $1.3 billion.

“Despite a few temporary operational challenges during the quarter, due to factors outside of the company’s control, bother our operational and financial results were strong,” Chief Executive Officer Ronald Pantin said in the statement.

Colombia had 33 pipeline attacks during the first three months of this year, down 43 percent from the year ago, Defense Ministry data show. The Bicentenario pipeline that feeds oil from the Llanos plain into the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline is currently halted.

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