11-7-13 6:13 AM EST | Email Article

By Sarah Kent


LONDON--Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol SA (EC) said Thursday that its oil exports to Asia increased significantly in the last year as demand from the U.S. fell.

Between January and September the company exported an average of 156,000 barrels a day to Asia compared to exports of 90,000 barrels a day in 2012.

Exports to the U.S., on the other hand, declined from 259,000 barrels a day to 219,000 barrels a day.

A boom in shale production in the U.S. has seen the country's demand for oil imports tumble in the recent years, upsetting traditional trade routes and forcing oil producers to find new markets.

However, competition to gain a foothold in the Asian market, where demand is growing, is fierce.

"It's not really easy to increase exports to Asia, but it's effective," said Ecopetrol's Chief Executive Javier Gutierrez during an investor day in London Thursday.

The company is targeting production of nearly 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day this year, Mr. Gutierrez said.

Outside Colombia, Ecopetrol is also involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the U.S. Gulf Coast.


Write to Sarah Kent at sarah.kent@wsj.com


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2013 06:13 ET (11:13 GMT)

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