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IFC FINANCES DEVELOPMENT OF OILFIELDS IN COLOMBIA


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail:  jesguerra@ifc.org


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.