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Ecopetrol strikes oil in Colombia

Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:06 AM

BOGOTA, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Colombian energy company Ecopetrol announced it discovered oil while drilling an exploratory well in the country's central Meta province.

Ecopetrol said oil was discovered during exploratory work at its Guainiz-1 well in central Colombia. The company said initial testing yielded a daily production rate of 409 barrels per day of heavy crude oil.

The company said it's the third discovery it's made in the region this year. Drilling ended July 14, reaching a depth of 7,975 feet. The company, Colombia's largest integrated oil and gas company, said Tuesday it would analyze the results "over the next months" to assess when production can begin.

National oil production has increased steadily since 2008 because of increased exploration activity.

The country's central provinces are key production areas, giving up mostly heavy crude oil. The Energy Information Administration, the analytical arm of the Energy Department, said Colombia had approximately 2 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of last year.

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