Ecopetrol Group Reports 1Q:22 Results [PDF Download]

(Ecopetrol, 10.May.2022) — Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL;NYSE: EC) announced the Ecopetrol Group’s financial results for the first quarter of 2022.

Table 1: Financial Summary Income Statement –Ecopetrol Group

Billion (COP)1Q 20221Q 2021∆ ($)∆ (%)
Total sales32,47317,20615,26788.7%
Depreciation and amortization2,5792,23734215.3%
Variable cost12,0656,2385,82793.4%
Fixed cost3,2942,0371,25761.7%
Cost of sales17,93810,5127,42670.6%
Gross income14,5356,6947,841117.1%
Operating and exploratory expenses2,0051,18182469.8%
Operating income12,5305,5137,017127.3%
Financial income (loss), net(1,524)(651)(873)134.1%
Share of profit of companies20253149281.1%
Income before income tax11,2084,9156,293128.0%
Income tax(3,884)(1,537)(2,347)152.7%
Net income consolidated7,3243,3783,946116.8%
Non-controlling interest(751)(292)(459)157.2%
Net income attributable to owners of Ecopetrol6,5733,0863,487113.0%
EBITDA15,8968,1877,70994.2%
EBITDA Margin49.0%47.6%1.4%

The financial information included in this report has not been audited and is expressed in billions or trillions of Colombian pesos (COP), or US dollars (USD), or thousands of barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboed) or tons, as noted. For presentation purposes, certain figures in this report were rounded to the nearest decimal place.

In words of Felipe Bayón Pardo, CEO of Ecopetrol:

“Ecopetrol closed the first quarter of 2022 with results that support our efforts aligned with a fair and responsible energy transition, affirming our commitment to provide energy security in Colombia and other countries where we operate, within the framework of our 2040 Strategy “Energy that Transforms”.

The current international crude oil price environment (average 1Q22 Brent price was 98 USD/Bl) is being driven primarily by the uncertainty that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has generated on global hydrocarbon supply, and the recent Chinese lockdown implications on demand. The Ecopetrol Group and the countries where we operate are not exempt from the consequences of this situation nor to its impact on economic recovery.

Although the increase in prices has benefitted our revenues, it has also created challenges in terms of inflation, where high energy costs and an international logistics crisis are beginning to pressure our operating costs and project execution timelines. The Ecopetrol Group has been constantly monitoring the direct and indirect impacts of inflation and has implemented actions to mitigate its effects.

During the quarter, in our Grow with the Energy Transition strategic pillar, we achieved positive results across all segments. In exploration, I would like to highlight the results of the 3rd Permanent Offer Cycle of the ANP in Brazil, where, in conjunction with Shell, we obtained 6 offshore blocks, located in the Santos basin, increasing our presence now to 12 offshore Brazilian blocks, as we continue consolidating our exploration efforts in high potential basins.  

In production we reached this quarter an average of 692 mboed, an increase of 16.3 mboed as compared to the same quarter of 2021, primarily explained by: i) our outstanding operating performance of unconventionals in the Permian (USA); ii) positive results in the Liria YW12 and Flamencos exploratory wells; and, iii) production recovery in the Castilla field. Compared to 4Q21, production decreased due to maintenance and operational activities, and public order circumstances, situations that have been gradually restored. As of March, we achieved an average production of 705 mboed. 

During this quarter, the contribution to production of gas was 19.8% (136.7 mboed) and whites was 3.8% (26.2 mboed) for a total increase of natural gas of 6.1% compared to 1Q21 driven by domestic demand recovery.

In Unconventional Reservoirs, with 31 new wells in Permian entering into production, we completed a total of 135 producing wells, reaching an average JV production in March of 61.4 mboed (net for JV before royalties), corresponding to 30.1 mboed net for Ecopetrol before royalties. For the quarter, average production was 26.7 mboed (net for Ecopetrol before royalties). On March 25th, the ANLA issued a resolution granting the environmental license for the Kalé Integral Exploratory Pilot Project in Colombia, which we expect will be confirmed as final during the next few months. We are also expecting the public audience for the environmental impact study for the Platero project, which was filed in February of this year. At the Ecopetrol Group we are convinced of the importance that unconventionals represent for the country’s energy security; and as such, we will continue pursuing activities related to the pilots, including multiple discussions with local communities and other stakeholders to provide details about the projects progress and clarify their concerns. 

The Midstream segment reported a strong performance this quarter, with total volumes transported through our multipurpose and oil pipelines increasing by 3.3% as compared to the same period last year, leveraged on an increase in production as a result of the economic recovery.

In the Downstream segment, the consolidated throughput reached 325 mbd during a quarter characterized by scheduled maintenance activities in both refineries; as a result of comprehensive planning in the logistics chain, we were able to fully supply the domestic market. In addition, we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Barrancabermeja Refinery, a leading force of the country’s development.

On the commercial front, we highlight the improvement of the realization price of our crude oil basket, which increased from 57.8 USD/Bl in 1Q21 to 88.3 USD/Bl in 1Q22 as a consequence of the Brent increase and the ongoing commercial strategy to diversify to other export destinations, which mitigated the effect of a more competitive market. Furthermore, Ecopetrol Trading Asia completed its first sale for 1.09 million barrels of crude which we expect to deliver during the second quarter of this year.

In the Energy Transmission and Toll Roads segment we invested USD 199 million during the quarter. We continued the construction of the energy transmission projects awarded to ISA CTEEP in prior bids and with reinforcement and improvement works to its transmission network. We also advanced in Peru in the Coya-Yaná project, and in Colombia in the execution of several UPME (Unidad de Planeación Minero Energética) projects.

In our Generate Value through TESG pillar, we can report the following advances:

On the environmental front, we defined our emission reduction target for this year (262,761 tCO2e), in line with our decarbonization goals and we set in motion our first green hydrogen production project in the Cartagena Refinery. We expect to pursue a robust plan in order to produce green, blue and white hydrogen, which we hope will contribute between 9% and 11% of our 50% emission reductions goal in Scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050. In 2022, we contemplate an investment of USD 6 million for the development of this pilot program in the Cartagena Refinery and to carry out projects and studies on hydrogen’s potential. 

We achieved a reduction of more than 490 thousand tons of carbon emissions in the Ecopetrol Group over the past two years as a result of a comprehensive campaign that includes fugitive emissions and venting reduction, the decrease of routine flaring and the incorporation of renewable energies that focus primarily on solar parks, as well as other initiatives to continue our progress in energy efficiency. 

On the social dimension, resources amounting to COP 68 billion were allocated to social investment across strategic and regulatory projects Noteworthy in this quarter is the completion of three infrastructure projects in the departments of Casanare, Nariño and the Paujil-Cartagena road, for a total of 31 projects completed under the “Works in Lieu of Taxes” mechanism.

On the corporate governance front, we highlight the following milestones during the quarter: i) we carried out our first in-person General Shareholders’ Meeting after two years of virtual mode; and ii) the shareholders’ approval of a total dividend of COP 280 per share (ordinary of COP 234 and an extraordinary of COP 37 per share), for a total of COP 11.5 trillion, which results in a dividend yield of 10.4%.

We highlight the release of the first ESG Evaluation made by S&P on Ecopetrol in which we achieved a score above the industry average and in which our Corporate Governance rates are above our peers. In addition, we also published our Comprehensive Sustainable Management Report for 2021 and and the second SASB report

Regarding the Cutting-edge Knowledge pillar, we partnered with Accenture and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to foster TESG and operating efficiency in companies in the power industry. Through this project, we seek to build an open data water management platform that will incorporate analytics, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and cloud storage capabilities to leverage the use and efficient management of water resources in the Oil & Gas industry. This partnership represents a key effort towards our recently announced goal to become water-neutral by 2045. We expect to allocate USD 200 million in investments to water management projects this year. 

We joined forces with ANDI, iNNPulsa Colombia, and other organizations to create the first Center for Innovation and Technology of the Caribbean, which will be a part of the C-Emprende national network. This think tank seeks to present solutions for energy transition and petrochemical challenges, with a leading role from hydrogen.     

Finally, regarding our Competitive Returns strategic pillar, I am pleased to announce that we obtained the highest quarterly results in the history of Ecopetrol. We closed the quarter with consolidated revenue of COP 32.5 trillion, which represents an increase of 89% as compared to 1Q21, a net profit of COP 6.6 trillion, an EBITDA of COP 15.9 trillion (EBITDA margin of 49%), and a Gross Debt/EBITDA leverage indicator of 1.8x. The return on average capital employed (ROACE) was 14.5%. During the period, ISA’s contribution to the Ecopetrol Group totaled net income of COP 0.2 trillion and EBITDA of COP 2.0 trillion.

At the end of the quarter, the Ecopetrol Group closed with a cash balance of COP 16.5 trillion, committed CAPEX equivalent to USD 986 million (COP 3.9 trillion), in line with the 2022 investment plan, and an account receivable balance from the Fuel Price Stabilization Fund (FEPC in Spanish) amounting to COP 14.1 trillion. We are actively working with the Ministries of Finance and Mines and Energy to propose structural solutions to these fuel subsidies, and complete the liquidation and payment processes of these accounts.

Continuing with our strategy of improving efficiencies, during the first quarter of the year we incorporated savings for COP 358.2 billion by strengthening the EBITDA margin, with improvements in product and petrochemical margins, dilution strategies, and lifting cost optimization, among others, which have allowed us to partially offset the inflationary effects brought to our operation.

I would like to end by recognizing and highlighting that our results evidence the commitment of the Group’s more than 18,000 employees who work towards guaranteeing the country’s energy security and our continued contribution to the Country’s economic growth.”

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