The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ecuador gives Repsol, Perenco 3 days to pay debts

QUITO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Ecuador on Thursday threatened to start freezing the assets of Spanish oil company Repsol and France's Perenco if they fail to pay within three days debts owed to the state.

President Rafael Correa, a leftist who often threatens foreign companies to pressure them into better contract terms, has said his government was moving to freeze the assets of both companies over unpayed duties stemming from a 2007 windfall tax.

"Both companies have been notified that they have 72 hours to pay. If they fail to do so, evidently we will have to take coercive measures in accordance to the law," said Luis Jaramillo, the head of state oil company Petroecuador.

Under Ecuadorean law, the state has the right to temporarily seize assets and freeze bank accounts to force a company to pay debts.

Repsol and Perenco officials in Quito were not imediatly available for comments.

Repsol and Perenco own oil installations in Ecuador that include drilling rigs, machinery and shares in a privately owned pipeline.

Repsol operates three oilfields in the Amazon jungle with a production capacity of 65,000 barrels per day. Perenco produces nearly 30,000 bpd, according to government data.

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