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Friday, February 23, 2007

Ecuador Returns to OPEC

Quito, Feb 22 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian Energy Minister, Alberto Acosta, reported the return of his country to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

In addition to the many benefits acquired by being a member of the group, Quito will obtain an aggressive policy in foreign trade, Acosta told foreign press.

Only the approval of the president, Rafael Correa, is needed for reintegration to that organization that had been abandoned in 1992.

Details are still pending with the president, as well as negotiating payment of the debt to that organization that amounts to four million euros, he explained.

"Withdrawal from OPEC was a mistake that we intend to correct," the minister further emphasized, reiterating the support of several member nations of the group, Venezuela included.

Acosta explained that since the nation has marginal production, being part of the group offers political support and access to technical advice and possibilities of technical training.

OPEC controls almost a third of all oil sold in the world and it would be beneficial to receive support in a series of projects to develop extraction.

"The most important point for us is that we will need an aggressive foreign trade policy with the Arab countries and other member nations," he pointed out.

He concluded saying that extraction capacity only reaches 530,000 barrels a day between private and state companies combined.

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