Colombia's Ecopetrol buys stake in Angolan blocks
BOGOTA, July 3 (Reuters) - Colombia's state-owned oil company Ecopetrol has bought a ten percent stake in two blocks off the coast of Angola as part of an effort to diversify its portfolio, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
Ecopetrol said it jointly purchased 10 percent of blocks 38/11 and 39/11 in Angola's Kwanza basin with Norwegian energy company Statoil, for an undisclosed sum.
"The two blocks are operated by Statoil, and together constitute an area of 14,135 square kilometers," Ecopetrol said. "During 2014 and 2015 we will test their potential."
Ecopetrol, Colombia's largest company, said it made the purchase through an affiliate in Germany and plans to open a branch in Angola.
The southern African country produces 1.7 million barrels of oil per day, 60 percent more than Colombia, and is the second-largest producer of crude on the continent, after Nigeria.
Angola is China's second-largest provider of oil.
Statoil, which operates in 30 countries, works nine blocks in Angola. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta, writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; editing by Andrew Hay)
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