Ecuador Extends Licensing Round Deadline

At the request of several interested exploration companies, Ecuador will extend the deadline bids on four blocks on its Pacific coast in the ninth exploration licensing round, according to a televised interview by President Lucio Gutierrez. The bidding will be extended by a period of 60 days. The original deadline was set for April 25, 2003. Petroecuador has said it expects a total of between $1 billion and $2 billion in investments in the four blocks offered in the Gulf of Guayaquil on the country's Pacific coast.