Reliance partners Ecopetrol for deepwater exploration In Colombia

Reliance Exploration and Production DMCC (REP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, and Columbia's state-owned oil explorer Ecopetrol SA (Ecopetrol) have signed farm-out agreements under which the latter will acquire a 20-per cent stake in the Reliance-operated deepwater block off the Columbian coast.

Effective 23 November 2009, the Columbian explorer will be RIL's partner in the Borojo North Block 42 and Borojo South Block 43 in Colombia, subject to approval by ANH, the Colombian national upstream regulator.

As per the agreements, Ecopetrol will take a 20 per cent stake in the blocks while REP will retain the balance and the operatorship in these blocks.

The two deepwater blocks cover an area of approx 8,000 sq km in water depths ranging from 60 to 1,500 metres. REP has completed acquisition and processing of 2D seismic of around 3,000 line km and is in the process of commencing multi-beam bathymetry studies covering both the blocks, an RIL release said.

"As the National Oil Company of Colombia, Ecopetrol brings a richness of technical and administrative experience in the region. Coupled with the deepwater experience of Reliance this strategic co-operation could result in a well calibrated approach to risk management and accelerated exploration and development in a large part of Pacific offshore," an RIL release said.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India's largest private sector company on all major financial parameters with a turnover of Rs1,46,328 crore ($28.85 billion), cash profit of Rs22,365 crore ($4.41 billion), net profit (excluding exceptional income) of Rs15,637 crore ($3.08 billion) and net worth of Rs126,373 crore ($24.92 billion) as of 31 March 2009.