Andes Strikes Deal, Ends Tarapoa Protests

Chinese oil consortium Andes Petroleum has struck a deal with residents from Ecuador's Sucumbíos province who occupied installations on the company's Tarapoa block last week, a hydrocarbons ministry spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming a Reuters story.

The deal calls for 200 jobs and 256 temporary positions to be granted to locals as well as the hiring of a transportation service from local communities. Andes also will resume education and health programs that were suspended in 2005, Reuters reported.

Tarapoa's production was cut to 14,000b/d from its average 42,000b/d as a result of the occupation, but production has since returned to normal levels.

Canadian oil firm EnCana (NYSE: ECA) in February this year closed the sale of its Ecuadorian oil and pipeline interests to Andes Petroleum for roughly US$1.42bn.

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