Canada’s Ivanhoe Energy eyes investment in Ecuador

Nov 07, 2007 01:00 AM

Canada's Ivanhoe Energy wants to invest $ 6 bn in oil production from the Pungarayacu field in Ecuador's Amazon region.
Ivanhoe has already presented a proposal to President Rafael Correa, who named a commission that will travel to California to see Ivanhoe's vaunted environment-friendly technology in action. The commission's members include Economic and Productive Policy Coordination Minister Mauricio Davalos and Industry Minister Raul Sagasti, as well as the head of state-owned PetroEcuador, Carlos Pareja, among others.

Ivanhoe Energy proposes producing oil from Pungarayacu, which has reserves of some 4.5 bn barrels of extra-heavy crude, using a steam-injection method that the firm claims reduces environmental damage. The Canadian energy company is willing to sign a "specific services" contract, hire Ecuadorian workers and work with domestic companies, train personnel and improve crude transportation.
Ivanhoe has proprietary technology that can be used to improve reserves of oil and gas by upgrading heavy oil to light oil, according to the company.

Energy Ministry officials told that Ivanhoe Energy also presented its proposal to PetroEcuador, but the state-owned company says it has no knowledge of the offer.
Oil is Ecuador's main export product and revenues from its sale finance about 35 % of government spending. The Andean nation produces some 530,000 bpd of crude.

Source / Agencia EFE S.A.
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