Ecopetrol Reports Loss of $2 Billion on Lower Crude Prices

  • Oil producer says accounting impairments also hurt results
  • One of `most challenging years' for industry, Echeverry says

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil producer, reported a wider fourth-quarter loss amid low crude prices and accounting impairments.

The net loss attributable to shareholders widened to 6.3 trillion pesos ($2 billion), from a loss of 2.49 trillion pesos a year earlier, Bogota-based Ecopetrol said Sunday in a statement. That missed the 325.5 billion-peso net income average of five analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Consolidated net income was a loss of 6 trillion pesos. The company said no dividend will be paid.

“2015 was one of the most challenging years for the oil industry,” Chief Executive Officer Juan Carlos Echeverry said in the statement. "Ecopetrol, like many other companies in the sector, executed profound adjustments in its operations to be more efficient and overcome the low crude prices."

Results were affected by impairments associated with U.S. accounting regulations, Echeverry added in the statement. The company has reduced its investment plan for 2016 by 26 percent, reflecting "discipline of capital and focus in higher value investments."

Average output in the quarter was 761,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 0.5 percent drop from a year earlier.

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