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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ecuador hopes for energy cooperation across Latin American

Peoples' Daily Online, August 8, 2007

Ecuador is hoping that plans to build a refinery with Venezuela will boost energy cooperation across Latin American, Ecuador's energy minister told a Tuesday press conference.

"I believe this project could make a Latin American energy policy a reality" if other state companies join in, said Galo Chiriboga.

"Now there is a collaboration between state company PetroEcuador and Petroleos de Venezuela, and this opens up the possibility of other Latin American state companies taking part in or forming joint ventures," he said.

Ecuador and Venezuela plan to sign an agreement Thursday to build the refinery in the Ecuadorian town of Jarmijo in the coastal province of Manabi, he added.

The project, with an estimated investment of 5 billion U.S. dollars, will process 300,000 barrels of crude per day.

At present, the two state companies are discussing technical issues, financing and environmental concerns for the development of the project, said the minister.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, a friend of his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, said in a Saturday radio program that the two nations have agreed to work together to improve production at the Sacha field, in the Amazon jungle, which is currently run solely by PetroEcuador.

Source: Xinhua

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