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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Energy integration between Ecuador and Venezuela keep progressing

ABN 27/08/2008

Quito, Aug 27. ABN.- Ecuador's Minister of Mining and Oil, Galo Chiriboga, announced that the internationalization process of Ecuador state-owned oil company Petroecuador keeps progressing through the creation of joint ventures with Venezuela and Chile.

Chiriboga said that he will take advantage of this Friday's visit to Venezuela, in joint with Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa, to sign an agreement to exploit Venezuelan oil located in the Orinoco Oil Belt.

“The visit that we are going to render this Friday and Saturday are aimed, precisely, to know the field, sign an agreement to carry out a feasibility study, which will help us to make a decision,” Chiriboga said in a press conference.

“The idea is to work in Venezuela, as Petroecuador, and we are going to do it, possibly, at the Ayacucho field in the Orinoco,” Chiriboga stated that it is expected to create a mixed company.

The mixed company would be Ecuadorian, Venezuelan and Chilean and the study will determine if it is feasible to exploit the Ayacucho field, which has a reserve of 2.5 billion of heavy oil barrels.

Chiriboga explained that Ecuador is studying also Chilean market for Petroecuador's internationalization, to exploit gas. Another mixed company would be created in this case as well.

He acknowledged that the work to make Petroecuador operate in Venezuela has advanced more than with Chile, however, he assured that his ministry will speed up the process when they come back from Venezuela.

President Correa will travel to Venezuela this Friday to deal economic and oil issues with President Hugo Chávez.

Last July 15, Chávez visited the coast province of Manabí, Ecuador's west, to start the construction of the Refinería del Pacífico (Refinery of the Pacific), which will be the larger petrochemical complex of South America's west coast.

Presidents Correa, Chávez and Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua's, attended, by then, to constitute a mixed company between Petroecuador and Pdvsa to build the refinery.

This petrochemical complex will process about 300,000 oil barrels a day and it will be necessary about 5 billion dollars of investment to construct it.

Translated by Ernesto Aguilera

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