PetroEcuador and Ecuador TLC SA have signed a four-year joint venture contract to explore the Palo Azul field. The field is expected to produce up to 15,000 barrels per day within the next six months. The terms of the agreement call for Ecuador TLC, which already operates the Ecuadorean Amazon's Block 18 field, to drill 35 wells at Palo Azul. Production will be shared between the to parties based on a formula governed by the price of crude and total reserves discovered. Palo Azul is located approximately 80 miles east of the capital of Quito and has reserves of 66 million barrels of crude.