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Colombia's Ecopetrol Reports Oil Find In Gulf Of Mexico

BOGOTA -(Dow Jones)- Colombia's state-run oil firm Ecopetrol SA (EC, ECOPETROL.BO) said Thursday that it had found oil in an exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico, the company's first success in that region. Ecopetrol said that the Logan 1 well showed the presence of oil and that the new studies were being carried out to determine the volume of the discovery. The well, located in the Walker Ridge 969 block, is operated by Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil ASA (STO, STL.OS) while Ecopetrol has a 20% stake in the project. Ecopetrol has moved in recent years to broaden its exploratory efforts overseas, focusing partly in the Gulf of Mexico. The Colombian firm is present in 112 blocks in that region through partnerships with other large oil firms. The company is spending $8.5 billion in capital investments this year, with a large share geared at exploration and production. Its target is to increase crude output 12% on a yearly basis. Ecopetrol's production, without its affiliates, rose to 677,500 barrels a day of oil equivalent in the third quarter, a 13% gain from that quarter of last year, the company said. Analysts attribute the increased oil output by Ecopetrol to higher recovery rates in mature fields and new projects coming online. -By Darcy Crowe, Dow Jones Newswires; (57) 1 703 8953;

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