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Ecuador: Sinopec to create oil joint venture to develop block 42

26 Nov 2009

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Ecuador and China will form a joint venture to develop an oil block in the South American country that has proven reserves of 120 million barrels of crude, an Ecuadoran official said yesterday. Germanico Pinto, the minister of non-renewable natural resources, announced the creation of a joint venture between Ecuador's state-owned Petroecuador and China's Sinopec International Petroleum at a meeting in Quito with about 20 Chinese business representatives, said a statement.

Pinto said the new company would seek an investment of one billion dollars to explore and exploit Block 42 in the eastern part of the Andean country. Petroecuador was to hold a 60% stake in the joint venture, and Sinopec the remaining 40%.

Ecuador is OPEC's smallest-producing member, pumping out 500,000 barrels of crude a day.

The Andean nation has become an investment magnet for the energy-hungry Asian giant. Companies such as Andes Petroleum y Petroriental have attracted Chinese capital, and Petrochina has signed a two-year contract for crude oil that "assures Ecuador of the sale of its oil," the statement noted.

The Block 42 area is located in the eastern Pastaza province and includes two oilfields with combined proven reserves of 120.1 million barrels of heavy crude.

Source: AFP

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