Ecuador To Fully Meet OPEC
Ecuador said Wednesday it will meet OPEC's assigned production quota of 520,000 barrels of oil a day by the first quarter of 2008, despite setbacks last week that put its state-run oil company under military control.
Ecuador militarized its oil industry after a protest by locals seeking more government investment in the Orellana province shut down Petroecuador facilities there, causing a 7.0% drop in the country's daily output of oil.
After rejoining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last month, Ecuador on Wednesday was assigned a daily oil production quota of 520,000 barrels.
"Based on our projections, we hope to achieve that number by the first quarter of 2008," a Energy and Mining Ministry spokesman told AFP.
From January to September, Ecuador's daily oil output has been 508,000 barrels, with a little over half extracted by Petroecuador and the rest by foreign oil companies. In 2006, Ecuador produced 536,000 barrels of oil a day.
The ministry spokesman said Ecuador hopes to boost production by 10,000 barrels per day from its smaller oil fields and from bloc 15, an area that had been operated by the U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) before its contract was ended in 2006.
"We hope to boost production at bloc 15 from 100,000 to 105,000 barrels per day," said the spokesman.
Petroecuador's facilities were put under military control by President Rafael Correa after he placed Orellana province and all the country's oil installations under a state of emergency in response to the protest in the Amazon region.
Close to 50 Petroecuador facilities in Orellana were occupied by protesters and its workers went on strike, as locals demanded more roads, electricity and jobs for their region.
After the Nov. 24-29 protest, Correa sacked Interior Minister Gustavo Larrea because, he said, he had provided "entirely wrong" information about the extent and severity of the strike.