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Ecopetrol S.A Confirms CB&I as Leading Contractor for Cartagena Refinery Expansion Project

BOGOTA, Colombia, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (NYSE: EC) attaches hereto an announcement made by its subsidiary, Refineria de Cartagena S.A., on November 25, 2009 regarding the appointment of Chicago, Bridge & Iron (CB&I) as the leading contractor for the expansion of the Cartagena Refinery.

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Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil company and is among the top 40 oil companies in the world and the four largest oil companies in Latin America. Besides Colombia, where it accounts for 60% of total production, the Company is involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States (Gulf of Mexico). Ecopetrol has the principal refinery in Colombia, most of the network of oil and multiple purpose pipelines in the country, and it is considerably increasing its participation in biofuels.

This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of Ecopetrol. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Colombian economy and the industry, among other factors; therefore, they are subject to change without prior notice.

    Contact us for any additional information:

    Investor Relations
    Alejandro Giraldo
    Phone: +571-234-5190

    Media Relations (Colombia)
    Mauricio Tellez
    Phone: + 571-234-5377
    Fax: +571-234-4480



    Cartagena, November 25, 2009


In a meeting held on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, in Bogota, Colombia, the Board of Directors of Refineria de Cartagena S.A. ("Reficar"), a subsidiary of Ecopetrol S.A., confirmed its existing US$1.4 billion agreement with Chicago, Bridge & Iron ("CB&I") for the performance of detailed engineering, procurement and construction services in connection with the expansion of the Cartagena Refinery (the "Expansion Project").

CB&I has worked on the Expansion Project since 2008, providing basic engineering design, topsoil stripping, and conditioning services in 130 hectares of the area where the new refining and power generation units will be located.

The expanded Cartagena Refinery will double its refining capacity to 165,000 barrels per day of clean fuels, low sulphur gasoline and diesel, in accordance with today's International standards. At the same time, the expanded Refinery will also have the flexibility to process heavy crude, including crude from the Rubiales and Piriri fields in the Eastern Plains region of Colombia.

The goal is to complete the Expansion Project in the next two years with operations expected to start during the first half of 2013. During the construction stage, the Cartagena Refinery will boost employment in Cartagena and, during its peak construction stage, it will generate nearly 4,000 jobs. To this effect, pursuant to the agreement with Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) and the Office of the Mayor of Cartagena, Reficar has agreed to train 3,700 persons in 16 oil-related fields (including welders, masons, mechanics and electricians) and is offering training to potential workers at no-cost.


CB&I is a North American multinational company located in Houston, Texas, with vast experience in the development of oil engineering, patents of applications for technological processes in petrochemical facilities and oil refineries, as well as the commissioning of mega projects. It has over 17,000 employees in the five continents.

    For further details, please contact:
    Corporate Communications
    Tel. (5) 6561334.
    CEl. 320-347-5469

SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.

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