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LatinNews Daily - 13 May 2020

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In brief: Colombia’s oil profits crash in first quarter

* Colombia’s state-owned oil company, Ecopetrol, has announced that its net profits in the first quarter of 2020 fell by 95.2% compared with the same period last year, from Col$2.74trn (US$705m) down to Col$133bn (US$34.2m). Ecopetrol’s president, Felipe Bayón, attributed this collapse to falling international oil prices, caused by the substantial decrease in demand as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. He noted that production actually narrowly increased year-on-year, from 728,000 to 735,000 barrels per day. Bayón predicted that similar results should be expected for at least the next two quarters, but insisted that Ecopetrol is well-prepared to survive the crisis, and is formulating an “adjustment plan” based on spending cuts and increased efficiency.