Ecopetrol Said to Explore Potential Sale of Plastics Unit

  • Colombia's largest oil producer unveiled new strategy in May
  • Company seeks divestments amid renewed focus on oil, gas

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil producer, has taken initial steps toward the sale of a plastics unit, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The move is part of the Bogota-based company’s strategy to divest non-core assets and focus on the production of oil and natural gas, both people said, asking not to be identified as the matter isn’t public.

Last month, Ecopetrol’s board said management may explore the sale of several assets including the unit formerly known as Propilco, provided the right price is offered, one of the people said. The unit makes materials used in the plastics industry, according to its website.

An Ecopetrol press official declined to comment on the potential sale when contacted by telephone.

Colombia’s largest oil producer outlined a new 2020 strategy in May that includes cost cuts and plans to divest company stakes and oil blocks. The company announced a farm-in with Parex Resources Inc. last month to develop the Aguas Blancas field.

Ecopetrol gained 3.2 percent to 1,435 pesos at 2:10 p.m. in Bogota. Shares are down 54 percent over the past year.

The sale of Ecopetrol’s stakes in Interconexion Electrica SA ESP, Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA ESP and Invercolsa could total roughly $1 billion, Chief Executive Officer Juan Carlos Echeverry said last month.

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