Ecopetrol (EC) Eyes 100 Permian Well Drillings by 2021-End

Ecopetrol S.A. EC intends to drill 100 wells in the prolific Permian Basin — one of the most lucrative shale plays in the United States — by the end of next year, per Reuters. Felipe Bayon, the CEO of the Colombia-based energy company, stated in the virtual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference that production in the basin will likely rise on the back of improving global crude prices.

Notably, Ecopetrol drilled 22 wells from last November to this June. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, production from the basin decreased. When WTI Crude price plummeted to historic lows in late-April, several upstream companies operating in the basin had to curtail production. However, with recovering prices, companies like EOG Resources, Inc. EOG, ConocoPhillips COP and others started resuming output.

Ecopetrol intends to drill 22 more wells this year. Importantly, the company created a strategic alliance with Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY last November to develop unconventional reservoirs in thousands of acres of the Permian Basin.

Ecopetrol managed to avoid shutdowns amid the pandemic as demand from China-based refiners drew significant Colombian crude supply. The growing market of Asia is a major importer of Ecopetrol’s crude oil. The company is trying to capture more demand through expanding sales to South Korea and India.

Moreover, Felipe Bayon anticipates Colombia’s diesel and gasoline demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2020-end or early-2021. However, jet fuel demand is expected to take more time to recover.

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