WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 1999 - The
International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement to invest US$55
million in Harken de Colombia Ltd., a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Harken
Energy Corporation, to develop four oilfields in Colombia.
IFC's investment will finance the first stage of development of the Bolivar
Block in Colombia's Middle Magdalena Valley. This phase will include drilling
nine wells and constructing facilities and transmission pipelines to produce
up to 30,000 barrels of oil per day which will be exported via Coveñas
on the country's Caribbean coast.
Mr. Philippe Liétard, IFC director of oil, gas, and mining, said that the
investment provides much needed long-term financing to develop one of the
country's most important sectors. The project will have a positive economic
impact on the community by employing local labor and contractors and upgrading
education, transport, and health facilities in the area. He added that
IFC's involvement has been crucial in mobilizing international capital
for this internationally competitive project.
IFC's financing for the $158 million project consists of loans totaling
$30 million for its own account and a syndicated loan of $25 million for
the account of participants. The syndicated loan has been jointly arranged
by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, the investment banking arm of Dresdner Bank
AG, and is fully underwritten by Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika AG.
The sponsor, Harken Energy Corporation, is listed on the American Stock
Exchange. The company has interests in a further five blocks in Colombia
and four in Costa Rica. This project represents Harken Energy Corporation's
first major development of its Colombian interests.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.