Ecopetrol 2nd-quarter profit falls 18.2 pct on lower crude output
BOGOTA, July 31 (Reuters) - Colombian state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol's profit fell 18.2 percent in the second quarter from the same period last year because of lower crude output and higher product imports.
Consolidated net profit totaled 2.78 trillion colombian pesos ($1.48 billion) for the April-to-June period, compared with 3.4 trillion pesos in the same period a year ago.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or cash flow, slipped 11.1 percent to 6.68 trillion pesos.
The company said average crude oil output fell 7.4 percent from the same period last year to 561,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Production was hampered by the two-month shutdown of a key pipeline attacked by leftist guerrillas.
Gas production totaled 123,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 1.8 percent from the same period of last year. Imports of diesel and gasoline rose due to higher demand.
The company will hold a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the results with analysts.
Colombia's oil sector has been hampered by an increase in bomb attacks on pipelines by the Andean nation's left-wing guerrillas. There were 259 attacks last year, the highest in a decade.
Ecopetrol is by far Colombia's biggest oil producer. The largest private sector producer, Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales, pumps around 320,000 barrels per day.
Ecopetrol's shares have fallen about 16 percent since the start of the year and saw the biggest losses of any stock on Bogota's exchange on Thursday, closing down 0.93 percent at 3,180 pesos. ($1 = 1876.1600 Colombian Pesos) (Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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