Exxon, Shell Win Colombia Blocks, But Shy Away From Shale

Law360, New York (October 18, 2012, 9:23 PM EDT) -- Units of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. picked up leases in Colombia's latest oil auction on Wednesday, growing their footprints in Latin America's rising oil giant but steering clear of new shale blocks the country hopes to develop.

Sandwiched between hydrocarbon-rich Venezuela and Ecuador, Colombia has been hampered for decades by violence and tight-fisted state control over its energy fields. But new peace talks with guerillas have calmed oil-rich regions and state-owned Ecopetrol has relaxed partnership demands, creating one of...
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