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Ecopetrol Announces the Presence of Natural Gas in an exploratory well in Northern Santander

BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC; BVC: ECOPETROL; BVL: EC; TSX: ECP) reports that it has proved the presence of natural gas at its Oripaya 1 exploratory well located in Northern Santander, Colombia about 20 kilometers to the northeast of Cucuta.

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The well is part of the Uribante Exploration and Production Agreement signed between Ecopetrol and the National Hydrocarbon Agency (Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos).

The drilling of this well began on March 25, 2010, and reached a depth of 13,320 feet, equivalent to more than four kilometers.

The main purpose of the well is to test for the presence of hydrocarbons in the Aguardiente formation, which was found at a depth of 12,530 feet measured from the surface, with a gross thickness of 680 feet. The well records indicate a porosity that fluctuates between 5% and 9%.

Ecopetrol conducted initial Drill Stem Tests (DST) for one week.  These tests generated an average production of 6.6 million cubic feet per day (MCFD) and 196 barrels a day of water, with a choke of 20/64". The choke indicates the size of the orifice for conducting the test, which in this case was less than one centimeter.

Initial analyses indicate that it is a dry gas well, mainly producing methane.  During the test period, pressure at wellhead exceeded 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

In the coming days, the information obtained from the initial tests will be evaluated and subsequent phases will be commenced to determine the potential of the discovery.

The Oripaya-1 well belongs 100% to Ecopetrol. Two additional wells that proved the presence of hydrocarbons this year at the Rio Zulia West-3 exploratory well (also in Catabumbo) and the Quifa-6 exploratory well in the Llanos Orientales (Eastern Plains) were made in partnership.

Ecopetrol is the largest company in Colombia and a firm integrated into the petroleum chain, ranked among the 40 largest petroleum companies in the world, and one of the four principal petroleum companies in Latin America. In addition to Colombia, where it generates more than 60% of domestic production, it has a presence in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States (Gulf of Mexico).  Ecopetrol is the owner of the two largest refineries in Colombia, the largest part of the network of oil pipelines and multi-use pipelines in the country, and it is significantly increasing its participation in biofuels.

This press release contains statements concerning business prospects, estimates of operating and financial results, and assertions concerning Ecopetrol's prospects for growth.  These are all projections, and as such, they are based solely on the expectations of management with respect to the future of the company and its continuing access to capital to finance the company's business plan.  The fulfillment of such estimates in the future depends on the behavior of the market, regulations, competition, and performance of the Colombian economy and industry, among other factors; therefore, these projections are subject to change without prior notice.  

For additional information please contact:

Office of Investor Relations

Alejandro Giraldo

Phone: +571-234-5190


Media Relations (Colombia)

Mauricio Tellez

Phone: + 571-2345377

Fax: +571-2344480


SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.

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