Minister, Petroecuador Pres Sign Agreement with France's INP

Ecuador's energy and mines ministry and state oil company Petroecuador have signed a technical cooperation agreement with France's oil institute (INP) for offshore exploration, refining and biofuels projects, Petroecuador said in a statement.

Ecuador's energy and mines minister Iván Rodríguez traveled to Paris with Petroecuador president Luis Román Lazo to sign the agreement on October 5, the statement said.

The agreement includes training for Petroecuador personnel in France and technical, financial, legal and scientific cooperation in areas such as petrochemicals, environmental regulations and natural gas operations, the statement said.


Rodríguez and Román will also seek technical support from INP to revise oil contracts held by foreign oil companies operating in Ecuador, a ministry spokesperson told BNamericas.

INP will be a technical advisor to Ecuador's government to determine the best form to renegotiate contracts, the spokesperson said. Ecuador's government has intended to revise all contracts since earlier this year when former mines and energy minister Fausto Cordovez made the announcement. The idea behind the revision is to establish better conditions for the state, which could translate into such things as foreign oil companies investing more money in local infrastructure projects such as roads, education and health, among other things.

Ecuador's hydrocarbons-rich Amazon provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana have been plagued by protests this year as locals want to see more investment by oil companies in the area. Protesters feel this should be a compensation measure considering the amount of profits that will be earned by international oil companies in 2005 as a result of skyrocketing oil prices.

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