Ecuador to Call Oil Licensing Round in Nov.

QUITO, Ecuador - Ecuador said Friday it will call a licensing round on Nov. 28 for private companies to bid for oil-exploration rights at 13 blocks in the southeast Amazon jungle.

Additionally, state-run oil company Petroecuador plans to negotiate with state foreign companies to develop three other blocks in the area.

Ecuador's minister of nonrenewable natural resources, Wilson Pastor, said in a press conference that the contracts will be signed by September of next year.

According to Mr. Pastor, Ecuador's southeast has "great potential" and the country expects investments of between $1 billion to $1.2 billion.

The government has said that, with current reserves and output Ecuador will have crude oil for about 11 years and the new oil round will widen the country's oil horizon.

Ecuador produces about 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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