China CNPC, Colombia's Ecopetrol Ink 3-Year Joint Exploration Contract


China National Petroleum Corp., China's largest energy producer, has signed a three-year contract with Colombia's largest state oil company, Ecopetrol S.A. (ECOPETROL.BO), for joint exploration and development, CNPC said in an in-house newsletter Tuesday.

The contract, signed Oct. 18 at an investment conference in Colombia, enables the two state oil giants to cooperate in the exploration, storage and transportation of conventional and heavy oil in Colombia, onshore and offshore, or a third country. CNPC didn't mention more details.

Colombia is the fourth-largest oil producer in South America, after Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil.

It is expected to produce over 1 million barrels of crude a day in 2012.

Ecopetrol produces over 60% of the country's crude and has oil and gas projects in Brazil, Peru and Gulf of Mexico, CNPC said in the newsletter.

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