On Wednesday, the government of Rafael Correa plans to launch the XI Oil Grand Round that will include bidding of 16 oil blocks in the South East (Pastaza and Morona Santiago), of which 3 are for the state contest of state-only companies and 13 are for private participation.
The new round is led by Minister of nonrenewable resources, Wilson Pastor, who 30 years ago promoted and planned the first grand round oil.
Former energy minister Jorge Pareja Cucalon explains that this new round for oil is not expected to be assisted by large hydrocarbon companies from the private sector due to two reasons:
- International conflicts that Ecuador has had with private oil companies like Oxy, Perenco and Burlington.
- Friendly relations between Ecuador and countries of questioned regimes such as Iran or Belarus, do not create an environment of trust for the arrival of large companies.
The manager of Petroamazonas, Osvaldo Madrid, indicated that conversations were held with Ecopetrol and Petroperu for single exploitation of blocks 28, 78 and 86 in the south east.
These blocks have an area of 200,000 acres each and were initially explored in the ’80s, but failed to produce. Reserves are estimated between 360 and 1500 million barrels. (MZ)