We made somewhat light of Ecopetrol’s announcement in March of a well with just over 200bd production. Now here is another announcement which is 3x the size! This is an improvement but it is still only a 0.1% increase in the company’s production. Like the last announcement, this one got wide coverage in the Colombian press. From an Ecopetrol press release, translated and with commentary by Hydrocarbons Colombia.
According to a publication on mining and energy issues from the newspaper El Nuevo Siglo, Colombia is a leader in the creation of jobs in this sector. According to a study conducted by the Oil & Gas Division of the recruiting company Hays; there will be a increased demand for production and transportation jobs of the mining and energy sector in Colombia.
Rafael Ramírez, president of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) said the company made net profit of US$4.2B last year, down from the US$4.5B reached in 2011. PDVSA’s total revenues in 2012 were US$124.5B while in 2011 they totaled US$124.7B. Business magazine America Economia reports Ramirez saying: “We have a difference that I think is not very important, US$200M (…) in a similar environment.”
With investors walking away from Colombian oil and gas stocks but interest rates low and companies still upbeat about their prospects, there have been a number of announcements about new debt issues and debt intentions. Other less conventional uses of cash like share buybacks have also become more prevalent.
As reported by Dinero, by February this year the stock-market capitalization of the companies listed on the Colombia Stock Exchange (BVC) increased by 6% compared to February of 2012, going from US$248B to US$263B. This even though capitalization declined compared to January this year, when it was US$273B.
As always, the Pacific Rubiales conference call was full of interesting insights on the company and the industry. The Quifa arbitration result warranted an US$62M provision to Pacific Rubiales Net Income and drew multiple questions from analysts. The company had not adjusted its reserves but said it only amounted to “4 or 5Mbl”, some 4 or 5% of Quifa 2P reserves and so a much smaller percentage of overall 2P reserves. But results of the STAR (Synchronized Thermal Additional Recovery) test in Quifa SW drew almost as much interest considering its potential for increasing production without additional water cut. Results, by contrast, got less attention even though both Revenues and EBITDA hit records. Another stunning fact was that production was up 30% in 2013 versus December of 2012.
After a few mixed and a few very disappointing 4Q12 results presentations this quarter, it is nice to read one that seems like good news from beginning to end. The graph tells the story with Parex production increasing sequentially from 2Q12 onward, with the trend continuing into 2013. That kind of growth pulls revenue and profit along for the ride.
Gulfsands is a newcomer to the Colombian scene having entered the market really only a few weeks ago when the blocks it won at the 2012 Round last October were finally signed, sealed and delivered by the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH). The company operates principally in the Middle East and North Africa with properties in Morocco, Tunisia and Syria. It recently updated its investor presentation to reflect the assignment of the blocks in Colombia.
Business magazine Dinero reports that 500 truckers threatened to go on strike and, to avoid it, asked companies like Ecopetrol and Pacific Oil Tech help them to find a solution to the problems that left them paralyzed in the Cartagena free trade zone, fact that made them lose about US$800 a day per truck.
It has been widely reported in the Colombian press that the arbitration commission has found in favor of Ecopetrol in its dispute with Pacific Rubiales. The result is an increase in Ecopetrol’s participation in the Quifa field, Pacific Rubiales’ second largest from the point of view of both reserves and production. This Portafolio article suggests that the wrangling is not over since the arbitrators declared they were not able to order Pacific to pay Ecopetrol the accumulated back payments. Pacific’s lawyer Nestor Humberto Martínez also spoke the newspaper about potential court action.