Ecuador's energy ministry has approved the 2006 environmental programs for hydrocarbons companies operating on five blocks, the ministry said in a statement. The companies that received environmental approval were US oil firm Noble Energy's subsidiary EDC Ecuador on block 3, Calgary-based oil company EnCana with blocks 14 and 17, City Oriente on block 27 and Argentine oil company CGC and Tarapoa for block 23, the statement said. Environmental approval is designed to "guarantee the management of the fields in environmentally sustainable conditions, according to the legal environmental norms," the statement said. Oil companies have until December 1 each year unless another specific term is stipulated under contract to submit their annual environmental program, which must include all aspects of operations, investments and administrative expenses.
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