Pacific Rubiales to make windfall production payment to Ecopetrol

Bogota, Apr 17 (EFE).- Canada's Pacific Rubiales said it will hand over 1.56 million barrels of crude produced at the Quifa oil block, in which it owns a 60 percent stake, to Colombian state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol.

Colombia's No. 2 oil producer after Ecopetrol, Pacific Rubiales said in a statement Wednesday that it would make the payment in compliance with a recent ruling by an arbitration tribunal.

"Pacific is willing to pay the arbitration award without detriment to the legal action we've undertaken to clarify the award," company Vice President Federico Restrepo said, referring to an appeal filed with Colombia's Council of State, the Andean nation's highest court of administrative law.

The dispute dates back to 2011 and pertains to a high-prices clause, or PAP, in Pacific Rubiales' Quifa Association Contract. The clause, which applies to oil with a market price above a base price established in the contract, was triggered when cumulative output at Quifa's various fields exceeded 5 million barrels.

While Pacific argued that the PAP formula should be calculated on the company's 60 percent stake in the Quifa block, Ecopetrol said it should be calculated on 100 percent of production.

The court sided with Ecopetrol.

Pacific Rubiales expects to achieve record net output after royalties of between 126,000 and 128,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Colombia in the first quarter of 2013.

Colombia, which is currently Latin America's fourth-largest oil producer after Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil, has roughly 2,2 billion barrels of oil reserves, while daily oil output in the Andean nation averaged 914,000 barrels per day last year.