Ecopetrol to purchase Enbridge's stake in Ocensa pipeline

Mar 16, 2009 01:00 AM

Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol will purchase a 24.7 % stake held by Canada's Enbridge in the Ocensa pipeline in Colombia for $ 418 mm. Ecopetrol's stake in the pipeline will increase to 60 % as a result of the transaction, Ecopetrol said.
The transaction will strengthen Ecopetrol's position in the oil transport industry and allow it to increase output in the Eastern Plains region of Colombia.

The pipeline, with a capacity of 650,000bpd, starts onshore at the Cusiana and Cupiagua fields and runs 829 km to the export port of Covenas. Enbridge had operated the pipeline as well as five pumping stations.
Ecopetrol and its two other partners in the pipeline, oil majors Total and BP, will soon decide which company will operate the pipeline, an Ecopetrol spokesperson told.

Financing latest acquisitions
Ecopetrol also announced two other large purchases recently. The company will pay Switzerland's Glencore $ 549 mm for its 51 % stake in the Reficar joint venture (JV) set up to expand the Cartagena refinery.
The company is also paying $ 748 mm to Frances Maurel & Prom for its Hocol subsidiary that operates in Colombia.

"We haven't modified the current investment plan of $ 6 bn," the spokesperson said. "What we are going to do is ask for permission to issue up to $ 4 bn in non-convertible bonds. Don't forget that Ecopetrol currently has no debt which gives it a great deal of leverage."
Ecopetrol previously said it could issue up to $ 8 bn in bonds.

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