Bogotá, Nov 22 (EFE) .- The Colombian oil company Ecopetrol announced today that it expects to invest between 3,500 and 4,000 million dollars next year, with an increase of between 35 and 55% with regarding the 2017 investment plan.
"The plan approved by the board of directors for 2018 is aimed at increasing hydrocarbon reserves and production, capturing the benefits a more favorable international environment for the sector and continue the path of efficiency, "the oil company said in a statement.
The state company plans to allocate 85% of the budget to exploration and production, which will mean an increase of more than 1,000 million dollars in resources aimed at these segments compared to this year.
In addition, 96% of resources will be disbursed in Colombia and the rest will go to projects in the Gulf of Mexico (United States), Mexico, Brazil and Peru.
On the activity for next year, the oil company revealed that it plans to drill some 620 development wells, at least 12 exploratory wells, the use of 28 drilling rigs and the acquisition of more than 41,000 kilometers of Seismic.
This activity will represent 140 wells and 16 additional drills compared to 2017.
Ecopetrol projects that oil production will be between 715,000 and 725,000 barrels. daily, and hopes to reach a milestone in refined products with between 350,000 and 575,000 barrels processed per day.
The information added that the plan will be financed "with the generation internal cash, without the need to incorporate market financing. "
In this context, Ecopetrol indicated that it has a" solid cash position "of 4,300 million dollars and a level of gross debt / Ebitda of 2.1 times at the end of the third quarter of this year, which, according to the company, "confirms the financial flexibility for inorganic growth focused on the increase in reserves ".
Ecopetrol generates more than 60% of the national production of crude and has exploration and production activities in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and the Gulf area of Mexico in the United States.