Ecopetrol Acquires Shell Stake In Cano Sur Block

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Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil company, said it will acquire Royal Dutch Shell's 50% stake in the Cano Sur exploration block in the South American country, making Ecopetrol the sole owner of the block. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed by either company.

Shell (RDS-A), Europe's largest oil company, has been parting with non-essential assets over the past two years to raise cash and the sale of its interest in Cano Sur could be part of that plan.

Cano Sur, which covers 610,000 hectares, is still in the exploratory phase and results obtained from evidence recorded in the stratigraphic wells Draco-1 and Mago-1 have confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons, Ecopetrol said in a statement. Ecopetrol will continue to perform intensive exploratory work in order to ascertain the hydrocarbons potential of the eastern region of Meta province, where the Rubiales and Quifa fields are also located, the company said.

Ecopetrol (EC) also does business in Brazil, Peru and the U.S. section of the Gulf of Mexico. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday before the open of U.S. markets.