Correa Aims to Carry Out ITT Project

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said his administration plans to carry out E&P on the ITT (Ishpingo-Tambochocha-Tiputini) oilfields in the country's northern Amazon region, according to a government statement.

The field could provide an additional US$1bn in resources to the state, Correa said.

"There are environmental impacts that are unavoidable," Correa said in reference to the project. The prospective ITT project has faced environmental opposition as it is at the center of Ecuador's Yasuni national park.

But failing to perform the project would deny the state a major source of revenue, thereby "creating a larger environmental impact than the one we are trying to avoid," Correa said.

The president challenged the international community to compensate Ecuador with US$1bn/y in exchange for not beginning oil production on the fields.

The ITT block has 900Mb of proven reserves that have been certified by France's oil institute (INP), BNamericas previously reported.

Studies by INP subsidiary Beicip Franlab in 2004 indicated production could be up to 190,000b/d of 14.7 degrees API crude.

Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador last year signed a five-year strategic alliance agreement with Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), which was interested in the ITT project.

Ecuador could develop the project with Petrobras or launch an international tender.

Correa began his presidency earlier this year.

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