Ecopetrol Second-Quarter Profit Falls on Pipeline Disruptions

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s largest oil producer, said second-quarter profit fell 18 percent after pipeline disruptions reduced production and increased costs.

Net income fell to 2.79 trillion pesos ($1.49 billion), from 3.41 trillion pesos a year earlier, the Bogota-based company said in a filing today.

Average oil output in the quarter was 734,100 barrels of oil equivalent a day, down 5.7 percent from a year earlier because of rebel attacks and community blockades. There were 67 pipeline attacks in the first half of this year, according to Ministry of Defense data.

“The results for April and May were severely hit by the interruption at the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline,” Chief Executive Officer Javier Gutierrez said in the statement. “International crude prices partially compensated for the strong impact.”

The Cano Limon pipeline was halted for 40 days between March 25 and June 3, Ecopetrol said, following a Marxist rebel attack and local community blockade that prevented repairs. Oilfield blockades also hit production.

The earnings report was released after regular trading ended today. Ecopetrol slid 0.9 percent to close at 3,180 pesos in Bogota. The stock has fallen 27 percent in the past year.

(Ecopetrol scheduled two earnings webcasts for Aug. 5. The first one in Spanish is at 10 a.m. New York time and can be accessed by http://www.media-server.com/m/p/wum3k32i. The second call in English will begin at 11:30 a.m. New York time and is accessible through http://www.media-server.com/m/p/vy9w4aug)

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