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UPDATE 2-Colombia's Ecopetrol hits record profit for half-year, second quarter

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(Adds details, quote from CEO)

By Oliver Griffin, Valentine Hilaire and Noe Torres

BOGOTA/MEXICO CITY, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Colombia's majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol reported record net profit for both the second quarter and the first half of 2022 on Wednesday after earnings benefited from soaring prices and increased production.

Ecopetrol's net profit for the three months to June 30 stood at 10.5 trillion pesos ($2.4 billion), the company said, while first-half net profit leapt to 17 trillion pesos, versus 6.8 trillion pesos in the year-earlier period.

"In these first six months of 2022, Ecopetrol is reporting a record profit. This profit, for these first six months, is already greater than the profit reported for the 12 months of 2021," Chief Executive Felipe Bayon said in a virtual press conference.

The company reported net profit of 16.7 trillion pesos for 2021.

Ecopetrol's results follow positive earnings reports from regional peers, Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, and Brazilian counterpart Petroleo Brasileiro, which is referred to as Petrobras.

The Brazilian company posted a quarterly net income of $10.5 billion, beating analysts' expectations, while Pemex reported its net profit soared more than ninefold to $6.5 billion, helped by surging prices.

Ecopetrol's total sales jumped 125% in the second quarter to 43.9 trillion pesos, pushed by the rise in oil and gas prices and a positive exchange rate, the company said.

The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the second quarter also rose 135.6% to 22.2 trillion pesos.

The results were boosted by increased production, which rose 6.6% in the second quarter of the year to 704,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), up from 660,900 boed in the second quarter of 2021.

($1 = 4,313.30 Colombian pesos) (Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Noe Torres in Mexico city and Oliver Griffin in Bogota, Editing by Chris Reese)