Ecuador to Receive Bids for Four Oil Blocks

December 2, 2013

Ecuador mustered bids for just four of 16 oil blocks it offered in its Amazon jungle region which could potentially contain a total of 1.5 billion barrels of crude, Reuters reported on November 29.

A subsidiary of Spain's Repsol YPF - Repsol Cuba - and China's Andes Petroleum made offers for three blocks, the awarding of which will take Ecuadorean authorities five months to finalize, Minister for Non-Renewable Natural Resources Pedro Merizalde said late on Thursday.

Ecuadorean state oil producer Petroamazonas, in partnership with Chile's Enap and Belarus's Belorusneft, will begin the development of a fourth block.

"In order to incorporate new reserves that will make it possible to raise the country's production levels, the Ecuadorean state will guarantee the use of new technologies, operated by companies committed to national development," Merizalde told reporters.

The international auctioning of the blocks had been announced last year but was twice delayed at the request of the companies interested in the oil reserves.

The blocks are in the Amazon provinces of Pastaza and Morona Santiago, near the border with Peru and on the edge of Yasuni park, one of the world's most important ecological reserves.

Copyright: Reuters, 2013