Ecopetrol seeks to spend up to $75B on E&P projects by 2020

Colombia's Ecopetrol (EC) says it plans to spend as much as $75B by 2020 to lift oil and gas production to 1.3M boe/day, which would represent a rise of more than 60% over output levels of 800K boe/day this Q3.

~90% of the new projects will be developed in Colombia and are expected to mainly be funded through internal cash generation, CEO Javier Gutierrez tells investors.

A conversion project at the Cartagena refinery should eventually allow an increase in per-barrel gross refining margins to as much as $15-$20, up from ~$5 now, EC says; the project will allow the plant to process up to 95% heavy crude, up from ~70% now.

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