Ecuador's Energy Ministry Qualifies 16 for Amazon Tender

Ecuador's energy and mines ministry has qualified 16 companies to bid on four state-owned oil and gas fields in the country's Amazon region, a ministry source told BNamericas.

The ministry received pre-qualification documents from 27 companies interested in bidding for the contracts in November, the source said, without naming the shortlisted companies.

Bids will be received through January 14. Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador is working with the ministry to prepare bidding rules for the tender, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The call for bids will be made once bidding rules are ready.

The 16 qualified companies will receive a document with the draft bidding rules to which they can add their observations in an attempt to make the process more efficient and transparent, Petroecuador's new CEO Hugo Bonilla said.

The aim of the tender is to increase production on the state-owned Shushufindi, Lago Agrio, Auca and Culebra-Yulebra-Anaconda fields, which produced an average of 81,801 barrels a day in the first seven months of the year, the statement said.

Required investment is estimated at US$359mn and the idea is to increase production by 42,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 12 months to about 123,500b/d. The fields are currently operated by Petroecuador.

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