Petroecuador Plans US$2.8bn Investment for 2007-10

Ecuador's energy and mines ministry expects state oil company Petroecuador's investment to reach nearly US$2.80bn from 2007-10, according to the ministry's new four-year plan.

Petroecuador will invest US$928mn in 2007 and US$1.87bn from 2008-10.

Of the total investment, 48% will go to slowing the production decline on fields operated by Petroecuador's Petroproduccion subsidiary in 2007, maintaining stable production in 2008 and increasing production from 2009 onward.

The plan cited a lack of investment in the past as provoking the fall in production. In the last 10 years, Petroecuador has invested US$967mn, less than 20% of that made by private companies. The state firm controls 80% of reserves.

In terms of produced units, Petroecuador has invested US$0.70/b, while private firms have invested US$7.80/b.

Aside from the US$1.35bn set aside for production activities in the four-year period, the company will invest US$207mn in exploration, US$109mn in transport, US$127mn in the rehabilitation of the Esmeraldas refinery, US$94mn in LPG storage and US$908mn in other works.

The plan also highlighted the goal of reducing smuggling, which costs the country US$300mn a year.

In the past few years, energy - including hydrocarbons and power - has made up 20% of the country's GDP.

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