An engineer employed by Tecnotecnica Coindustrial, a subcontractor working for Colombia's Ecopetrol, was kidnapped by an unidentified illegal armed group this weekend, the oil company said.

Jorge Gonzalez was abducted on Friday afternoon in Convencion, a city in the northeastern province of Norte de Santander, Ecopetrol said in a statement.

Armed men stopped the Tecnotecnica Coindustrial vehicle carrying the engineer, the oil company said.

Both the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the smaller National Liberation Army, or ELN, guerrilla groups operate in the Catatumbo region, where the kidnapping occurred.

The two rebel groups have staged attacks against oil industry facilities in the past two years, but the FARC said in February 2012 that it would no longer carry out kidnappings to finance its operations.

Gonzalez and his co-workers have received threats and been the targets of extortion rackets, media reports said. EFE