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  HOME | Ecuador (Click here for more)

Ecuador State Oil Firm Eyes 16% Output Boost in 2012

QUITO – Ecuadorian state oil company Petroecuador said it plans to invest approximately $1.8 billion in new wells, pipelines and refining projects in a bid to increase production by 16 percent in 2012 to 82.6 million barrels.

The firm said Thursday it currently pumps 154,501 barrels per day, or slightly less than a third of the 500,000 bpd extracted daily from Ecuador’s subsoil.

Achieving the 2012 output target would mean an additional $752 million in revenue for the Ecuadorian government, Petroecuador said in a statement.

Petroecuador’s 2012 budget, which the company’s board of directors approved Monday, includes investment in seismic studies and the drilling of gas wells in the Gulf of Guayaquil and another 98 oil wells in the Amazon region.

Petroecuador also plans to build two pipelines and facilities to store and distribute gas and will allocate funds to expand its network of service stations.

In total, the company plans to spend $528 million on oil exploration and production and $337 million to upgrade its Esmeraldas refinery.

It also will invest nearly $352 million to build the Pacific refinery and another $127 million in the Rio Napo joint venture for the Sacha oil field, projects in which Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA has a minority stake.

Petroecuador announced in October that it plans to hand over all oil and gas exploration and production operations to Ecuador’s other state oil company, Petroamazonas. As part of that reorganization, Petroecuador will limit its operations to crude transport, refining and marketing.

However, the process of transferring the company’s upstream assets, liabilities and contracts will take at least one year, a Petroecuador spokesperson, who requested anonymity, told Efe Thursday.

Once the legal requirements have been met, the approved funds in the budget for upstream activities will be assigned to Petroamazonas, the spokesperson said.

In October, Petroecuador head Marco Calvopiña estimated the value of the fixed assets to be transferred to Petroamazonas at roughly $1.7 billion. EFE
 

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