Petroecuador to Increase Oil Output 5-6% in 2006

Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador intends to increase oil production 5-6% in 2006, local press quoted Petroecuador president Luis Román as saying in an interview with TV channel Teleamazonas.

Petroecuador aims to achieve this increase with investments totaling US$313mn in new projects, local paper El Universo reported.

Oil production is expected to increase to 66.5 million barrels a year (Mb/y) from 62.5Mb/y, which is still only about half the 120Mb/y produced in Ecuador 10 years ago, local press quoted Román as saying.

Román attributed the long-term decline to the transfer of certain Petroecuador oil fields to private companies as well as a lack of investment in the sector, local paper El Mostrador reported.

"We are thinking about reversing this tendency in 2006, we have prepared these months and to reach an increase of approximately 5-6% we will increase the number of towers to drill more wells," Román said.

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