Ecopetrol Announces New Discovery

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Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-controlled oil producer, said it found evidence of oil in the Nunda-1 well, located in the municipality of Tello in Colombia's Huila province. The company began drilling the well in late January and drilled to depths of nearly 7,400 feet by mid-February.

Preliminary testing on the Honda formation showed a flow volume of 318 barrels, with a 71% water cut, yielding an average of 92 barrels of oil per day, the company said in a statement. Ecopetrol (EC) said it will begin appraising the find in the weeks ahead to determine the full viability of the discovery.

The company, which accounts for 60% of Colombia's total oil output, has been looking to the Valle Superior del Magdalena region of Colombia as a means of bolstering its oil output. In February, Ecopetrol said it plans to spend $80 billion through 2020 on exploration and production activities.

The company announced 11 new oil discoveries in 2010, 10 in Colombia and one in Brazil. Ecopetrol operates in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Colombia is South America's third-largest oil producer behind Venezuela and Brazil.