Bogota / AFP
Colombian state-run oil concern Ecopetrol has reported losses of $1.23 billion (1.12 billion euros) in 2015, driven largely by low crude prices on the international market.
Ecopetrol said in a statement that as a result of the losses it would not be handing out dividends to its shareholders.
The company’s profits for 2015 “were affected principally by the international price of crude and by the application of international accounting standards,” Ecopetrol said.
These new standards meant that a “line by line” comparison cannot be made with profits and losses of previous years, the company said.
Ecopetrol President Juan Carlos Echeverry said that 2015 was “one of the most challenging years for the oil industry,” and that his company had to make “profound adjustments in the way it operates to be more efficient and survive the lower crude prices.”
Ecopetrol also endured attacks on the oil infrastructure â€” mainly pipelines â€” by guerillas, flooding triggered by the Nino weather phenomenon, the temporary closure of the border with Venezuela and the devaluation of the Colombian peso, Echeverry said.
Nevertheless costs were cut and production rose by 5,000 barrels a day to an average daily output of 760,700 barrels.
Ecopetrol is Colombia’s largest company and one of the world’s 50 largest oil companies.
Colombia is the fourth largest producer of crude in Latin America after Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil. It has an average overall production of a million barrels per day.