2 MIN. DE LECTURA
BOGOTA, Mar 2 (Reuters) - Net profits at Colombia's state-controlled oil producer Ecopetrol fell 42.7 percent in 2014 versus the year before, due to lower crude prices and higher costs.
Consolidated net profits were 7.5 trillion pesos ($3 billion) last year.
"The average price of crude, gas and other Ecopetrol products was $10.6 billion less than in 2013," the company said in a statement.
"Combined with a currency devaluation of 7 percent in the average exchange rate, it had a significant impact on our financial results."
The company posted a consolidated net loss of 844 billion pesos ($338 million) in the fourth quarter last year, compared with the same period a year earlier when profit was 2.4 trillion pesos.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, EBITDA or cash flow, fell 50 percent to 2.44 trillion pesos in the fourth quarter.
The company's consolidated oil and gas production, which includes subsidiaries, fell 1.8 percent from the fourth quarter last year to 765,100 barrels per day equivalent.
Production in 2014 was down 4.2 percent compared with the year before, to 755,400 barrels per day.
The company cited a natural fall in output at its fields and the effect of strikes and protests as factors in the decrease in production last year.
Colombia produces roughly 1 million barrels a day of oil and gas equivalent. Ecopetrol is the largest producer, Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp is second and the biggest private-sector player.
Ecopetrol's shares have fallen around 40 percent in the last year. The company said in September that it hopes to reach output of 1 million barrels per day on average.
The Colombia peso lost one-fifth of its value last year.
Bogota-traded Ecopetrol shares closed 3.8 percent lower on Monday at 2,005 pesos per share.
$1 = 2,496.99 Colombia pesos Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker