BOGOTA, Colombia, March 7, 2016 /CNW/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC) reports that its Board of Directors approved a 2016-2020 road map for the Barrancabermeja Refinery, with the objective of maximizing its long-term competitiveness and sustainability, as established in Ecopetrol's strategic plan announced in May 2015.
The crude oversupply in the international oil and gas markets has deteriorated oil prices. Under this environment, Ecopetrol, in line with industry trends, has focused on making its operations profitable by optimizing costs and implementing strict austerity measures, in addition to adjusting its investment plan, only approving projects that create the highest value and generate the most cash flows in the short-term.
In this challenging scenario, and in an effort to ensure the financial sustainability of the Ecopetrol group, Ecopetrol has decided that it is necessary to suspend the Barrancabermeja Refinery Modernization Plan (PMRB) until the oil price environment allows investments to be made in such a major project.
The Barrancabermeja Refinery is a fundamental asset for diversifying risks among Ecopetrol's various businesses. It is necessary to improve the Refinery's operating excellence, increasing cash generation and implementing new measures that will allow the Barrancabermeja Refinery to become an efficient asset that is operated according to the best international standards. The Barrancabermeja Refinery achieved excellent operating results in 2015. Looking forward, Ecopetrol will make incremental investments in order to ensure reliability and integrity of the performance of the Barrancabermeja Refinery, as well as investing in programs that are critical for its operation and maintenance.
Head of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
María Catalina Escobar
Phone: (+571) 234 5190
Media Relations (Colombia)
Jorge Mauricio Tellez
Phone: + 571-234-4329
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SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.