BOGOTA, Colombia, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC; TSX: ECP) announced today the incorporation of Cenit S.A.S., a wholly owned subsidiary company specialized in hydrocarbon transport and logistics in Colombia.
The purpose of the new company is to serve the strategic transportation and logistical needs of the country's oil industry resulting from the increase in hydrocarbon production and higher sales of crudes and refined products, both in Colombia as well as in International markets.
Furthermore, it will strengthen and expand the network with high standards of industrial safety, reliability and contribute to the environmental preservation, all of which will significantly reduce the damage on roads from truck transportation of hydrocarbons.This decision is a step forward in the growth of the industry, as wells as a signal of clear rules to the market, by separating Ecopetrol's role as owner, planner, operator and user of transport systems. Cenit will operate with an open model in which all the interested parties will have the possibility of accessing the transport infrastructure. The new hydrocarbon transportation scheme generates important advantages to Ecopetrol by allowing the company to have a strategic focus on its business, allocate higher investment to other key segments for its growth, and ensure the profitability of the crude and product transportation activities. Cenit will be incorporated with all of Ecopetrol's transportation assets, including the interests held in Ocensa, Los Llanos Pipeline (ODL), Bicentenario Pipeline (OBC) and the Colombia Pipeline (ODC). Ecopetrol's current transportation contracts will be transferred to the new company, maintaining the conditions agreed upon between the parties. Cenit will guarantee Ecopetrol the capacity for transportation and handling of its hydrocarbons. After the transfer of the assets, which will be completed in the coming months, the contractual and commercial relationship will take place between Cenit and its customers. Furthermore, the commercial conditions of the new contracts or projects for infrastructure expansion will be determined by the new company in accordance with the applicable legislation.