Repsol YPF to Increase E&P Investment in Ecuador to US$58mn

Spanish oil company Repsol YPF plans to invest US$58mn in exploration and production in Ecuador in 2004, up from US$48mn in 2003, a Repsol YPF spokesperson told BNamericas.

The company plans to invest US$49mn to drill 15 wells in block 16 and US$9mn to drill eight wells in block 14, the spokesperson said. Current production stands at about 60,000 barrels of oil a day. Repsol YPF invested US$184mn in the OCP heavy crude pipeline in 2003, and although construction has been completed, the company has budgeted US$15mn for continuing payment and capital commitments related to the project in 2004, the spokesperson said.

The company plans to invest an additional US$3.7mn in its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in 2004, up from US$3mn in 2003, to "enhance its bottling plants and acquire additional bottles in order to maintain its current leading market position," the spokesperson said.

Repsol YPF also plans to invest less than US$1mn in its gasoline distribution network, which is not enough to achieve market growth, but enough to maintain its 125 stations, the spokesperson said.

The company ended 2003 with a market participation of 13.4%. Repsol YPF has a 35% stake in block 16, 25% in block 14 and 29.7% in the OCP pipeline.

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