Repsol YPF to Increase Ecuador Output with New Pipeline

Repsol YPF expects to boost production in Ecuador up to 100,000 bpd by 2006 after a new pipeline has come on line to expand the nation's transport capacity. Currently, the company has the capacity to produce up to 50,000 bpd on its block in the Amazon jungle but is limited to approximately 20,000 bpd due to space limitation in the current pipeline.

Now that a new, heavy-crude pipeline is expected to come on line in September, Repsol YPF aims to raise its oil output to 75,000 bpd by the end of July. The next step would be to take output to 100,000 bpd by 2006.

Repsol YPF has bought space in the new pipeline for 100,000 bpd and is one of six oil firms backing the project, which will build a second oil line in Ecuador that will be able to shuttle up to 450,000 bpd from the Amazon to a coastal port. The company building the $1.3 billion pipeline, OCP Ecuador SA, is made up of Repsol YPF, EnCana, Agip Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, Perenco, Perez Companc and construction firm Techint. Repsol YPF will invest $300 million through 2008 to get output levels to 75,000 bpd and that plans to boost production to 100,000 bpd would require an additional $469 million over the next decade. Ecuador currently has a crude output of about 400,000 bpd but expects production to rise once the new pipeline is completed this year. Currently the country has just one state-run pipeline with space to transport 400,000 bpd.