BOGOTA, Colombia, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC; TSX: ECP) announces that its Board of Directors approved the allocation of an extra US$502 million for the modernization project of its Cartagena Refinery in 2013. The decision was made after the management team of Reficar asked for the additional funds based on an estimated budget of US$6,467 million. The modernization of the refinery is expected to make the refinery a strategic asset for the energy security of Colombia. The project is expected to bring benefits that should boost the development of the Colombian Caribbean Coast region and the local manufacturing sector. The modernization project is entering its final stage. The working pace doubled in 2013, compared to last year's, and the overall progress is at 80.7%. Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil & gas company, where it accounts for 60% of total production. It is one of the top 40 oil companies in the world and the fourth largest oil company in Latin America. The Company is also involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States Gulf Coast, and owns the main refineries in Colombia, most of the network of oil and multiple purpose pipelines in the country, petrochemical plants, and is entering into the biofuels business. This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of Ecopetrol. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Colombian economy and the industry, among other factors; therefore, they are subject to change without prior notice.Website: www.ecopetrol.com.co (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090209/ARM001LOGO ) SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.