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| 9/18/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia Halts Gas Exports To Venezuela On Field Maintenance

Sept 18--Colombia halted gas exports to Venezuela until Tuesday as production at the Chuchupa-Ballena gas field was reduced because of machinery maintenance, Mines and Energy Minister Hernan Martinez said Thursday.

The field, which is located in the northeastern tip of Colombia, had to cut its output to 400 million cubic feet of gas a day, from 700 million cubic feet, Martinez said.

"There was a problem during the maintenance, which led to the reduction of production," Martinez told reporters. "I'd expect production to be back at previous levels by Tuesday, hopefully before."

The field, which is operated by state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol SA (EC) and U.S.-based Chevron Corp. (CVX), exports about 300 million cubic feet of gas to the Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.
 
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