Petroecuador to Call for Pipeline Study Bids by end-March

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Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador plans to call for bids by month-end on a contract to carry out engineering studies for its planned US$20mn-25mn project to automate the country's pipeline system, a Petroecuador spokesperson told BNamericas.

The contract is part of the company's plan to reduce losses from fuel theft, the spokesperson said.

After the engineering studies are completed, the company will call for bids on the main contract, which is designed to automate the pipeline system using the new SCADA system. Petroecuador has 1,300km of pipelines and 22 terminals, "so it will take a some time to carry out the studies to design the bidding rules," the spokesperson said.

Work on the whole project is expected to wrap up in 12-18 months. The funds for the project could come from reduced fuel losses over the next year or two through increased security on the company's pipelines, the spokesperson added.

President Lucio Gutierrez published an executive decree on March 3 declaring a state of emergency at Petroecuador and calling for police to monitor activities at the company's pipelines and terminals, particularly near the border with Colombia, where fuel losses are highest.

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