The 33.4 trillion pesos in profits with which Felipe Bayón, President of Ecopetrol, says goodbye to the presidency of the largest and most important company in the country, it is a point not only quite high for whoever assumes the reins of the oil company in his replacement, but also very difficult to overcome this 2023 due to the circumstances surrounding the local economy in international, agree some analysts consulted, who see that this year the profits of the oil company could close around 25 trillion pesos.

(Also read: ‘Take care of Ecopetrol’: the saying message from Felipe Bayón to Petro)

One of the main reasons why it will be very difficult for the Colombian oil company to achieve last year’s record figures in terms of profits has to do with international oil prices, which this year have fallen by about 15 percent, compared to of those seen in 2022.

«This year looks more challenging for the company since the global economic slowdown will cause the average price of oil this year to be below that observed last year, which is why a reduction in profits is anticipated,» he explains. Juan David Ballén, Director of Analysis and Strategy at Casa de Bolsa.

Bayón took office as president of Ecopetrol on September 15, 2017 and will retire on March 31.


Rodrigo Sepulveda. WEATHER Archive

It warns that so far in 2023 the average price of brent Oil, The main reference for Colombia is 15 percent lower than in 2022. In fact, after a good part of the day on Thursday, the price of Brent crude was above $85 a barrel, an increase of 0.67 percent. compared to the previous session.

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He is not the only one who is seeing difficulties for the Colombian oil company to surpass the record of achievements reached last year. Steffanía Mosquera, stock analyst at Credicorp Capital ColombiaHe says that for this year they estimate a net profit of around 25 billion pesos, which represents a 25 percent drop compared to the profits received in 2022.

«Our estimation of the fall is based mainly on the fact that we expect lower oil prices (levels of 80 – 90 dollars per barrel) compared to those perceived in 2022 (close to 100 dollars per barrel). We also highlight that the incorporation of the tax reform plays a a role in our expectation of a drop in profits», explains the analyst.

key production

And while prices may not play in the company’s favor this year, there are also those who believe that an additional factor to take into account will be the expected pace of oil production, which will be higher this year.

Parachute Felipe Campos, Director of Economic Research at Grupo Alianza, Ecopetrol estimates a production for this 2023 of between 720,000 and 725,000 barrels per day, which represents an increase of 1.5 percent.

The company is positioned to continue showing profits for its shareholders, says the expert, as well as a taxpayer in taxes and royalties to the nation, but as long as oil prices and hydrocarbon production remain on an upward trend, they do not fall. «That’s why investment planes are heading towards the latter and international markets have kept the price in high ranges.»

Future results will also arise from the guidelines established by the new president

And he adds that in terms of profits, a stability in the exchange rate plus a lateral trend in oil can leave his profits between 24 and 27 billion pesos this year. «The Government estimates to receive around 12 trillion in 2024 for dividends from Ecopetrol, which implies a dividend close to 325 pesos,» says Campos.

And although the replacement in the presidency generates great expectations in the market to find out who will succeed Bayón, a manager who has left the company in a very good position in terms of results and projects, not all those consulted share the opinion that this is a factor influencing those results.

For example, while Ballén, from Casa de Bolsa, considers that «without a doubt, future results will also arise from the guidelines that will be established by the new president of the entity, Mosquera, the Credicorp analyst maintains that they do not see for now that this replacement can have some short-term impact.