Ecopetrol’s Q2 profit up 65.8% on higher prices, sales

Colombian state-owned oil company Ecopetrol reported a 65.8% increase in its second-quarter net income, due to improved spreads in the crude exports pricing basket vs. Brent crude, higher international petroleum prices and lower product imports.

Net income for the April-June period reached COP 1.30 trillion ($433.29 million), compared to COP 787 billion ($262.31 million) a year earlier, Kallanish Energy reports.The firm’s export basket spread improved significantly, to $6.60 per barrel vs. $9.00/Bbl in the second quarter of 2016. (See related story)

“Excellent commercial management and the global scarcity of heavy crude helped capture market opportunities in international sales,” said Ecopetrol’s CEO, Juan Echeverry, adding crude exports rose 5.3% year-over-year.

The major importer of its crude continues to be U.S. Gulf Coast refineries due to its greater high conversion refining capacity. As the company seeks to gain more profitable markets, it has increased exports to Asia, supported by higher demand from independent refineries in China – known as teapots.

Central America and the Caribbean were the third-largest destination, with an increase of 46.4% year-over-year, since they are intermediate points of storage for other destinations.

Ecopetrol also saw a larger share of exports to the markets in the U.S. East Coast due to better refining margins which, in turn, compensated for lower sales in Europe.