Petroecuador Aims to Produce 60M Barrels in 2012

QUITO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 28, 2011

Petroecuador expects to produce 60 million barrels of oil in 2012, the Ecuadorian state-owned oil company's general manager Marco Calvopina said during a press conference on Wednesday.

The production target for 2012 represents an 8 percent increase over this year's output of 55.3 million barrels, Calvopina said.

At the beginning of this year, Petroecuador said that it planned to produce 52 million barrels of oil in 2011. However the company was able to increase production over its guidance by an extra 10,000 barrels a day.

Calvopina said that the company will look to increase production next year at the Sacha field to 60,000 barrels a day from 49,464 barrels a day in 2011. Sacha is operated by Petroecuador and Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.

Petroecuador will also look to increase production of natural gas from block 3, which was previously operated by the U.S.-owned Energy Development Corp. (EGDCY), or EDC.

In 2011, natural gas production from block 3, located in the Amistad gas field in the Gulf of Guayaquil, will be 68 million cubic feet per day. In 2012, Petroecuador aims to produce 100 million cubic feet per day as it plans to substitute the use of diesel with the less expensive gas in electric power plants, Calvopina said.

Petroecuador Nixes Uruguay Deal, to Tender Oil in Public Bid

Ecuadorian state-owned oil company Petroecuador said that it isn't interested in renewing a fuel-exchange agreement with Uruguay's Ancap and that the crude oil that would have been part of that deal will now be tendered in a public bid.

In January 2010, Petroecuador signed a two-year agreement to provide Ancap with 360,000 barrels of crude oil a month in exchange for diesel and high-octane naphtha.

However, while Ecuador sold 63 shipments of oil as part of the agreement, only two went to Uruguay. The rest of the shipments were resold by Uruguay to the United States, Panama and other countries in Central America, general manager Marco Calvopina said Wednesday during a press conference.

Even though the agreement allowed Uruguay to sell the oil to other countries, the intention of the deal was to have the oil refined in Uruguay, Calvopina said. He added that the agreement didn't harm Ecuador economically.

"It is a business decision to not continue with the agreement," Calvopina said.

In 2011, Ecuador sold 90 percent of its crude directly to state oil companies. PetroChina (PTR) bought 64 percent of Ecuador's crude, Ancap bought 16 percent and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, purchased 10 percent.

The remaining 10 percent of Ecuador's crude was sold to private companies through public bids.

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