To address the vacancies on its board of directors, Ecopetrol CEO Juan Carlos Echeverry has called for an “extraordinary” shareholder meeting next month to fill the open seats. The board is currently led by Carlos Cure Cure. Mauricio Cárdenas, the nation’s minister of finance, and Simón Gaviria Muñoz, head of the National Planning Committee, also both sit on the board of the state-controlled energy company.
Before becoming CEO in March 2015, Echeverry previously held both of those high-level government positions. Given his lack of experience in the oil sector, some worried that his tenure leading the company would move Ecopetrol too close to the politicians in Bogotá. “We think that independence from the government has played a very important role in Ecopetrol’s success,” Sebastian Gallegos, an analyst at Credicorp Capital brokerage, told the Wall Street Journal after Echeverry took over. “The new CEO is going to have big challenges ahead, and we hope that it continues to maintain its independence.”
More information about the current board members and candidates can be found on Ecopetrol’s website. The meeting will be held on September 14 at 7:30 am in Bogotá at Ecopetrol’s auditorium on Carrera 13 No. 36 – 24. Shareholders who cannot attend in person may send a proxy by submitting a written request.
Ecopetrol Patent Approval
Ecopetrol has received approval for two new patents from Colombia’s Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio. Both patents center on a process of draining water from an industrial facility where hydrocarbons are stored, with one regarding how to clean the pipeline that is used to transport them.
The main patent features a valve and calibration system used to drain water storage tanks. According to the company, it can make the water system more efficient, cut losses, lower costs for water treatment, and reduce health risks.
The secondary patent involves an innovative process for cleaning pipelines and other transportation lines. Polymer gels and polyethylene spheres that vary in density and size are used to improve the traditional method.
Ecopetrol’s Celebrates 65th Birthday
Amid shareholder meetings and new patent news, Ecopetrol celebrated its 65th anniversary this week. To commemorate the date, the company boasted about its contributions to the national labor force, highlighting that it has averaged more than 20,000 workers, directly and indirectly through contract work, during the first six months of 2016.
More than half of these have come in what the oil giant calls its “central” region, with the bulk of the jobs located in the capital of Bogotá and the departments of Santander and Norte de Santander. January was its best month, with 23,202 people working in its operations. That number dipped steadily in subsequent months, hitting a low of 18,586 in May, before rebounding to 19,698 in June.
Ecopetrol Direct and Indirect Workers in 2016