Ecuador's state oil company looks to double output in five years

A view shows the Ecuador's state-run Esmeraldas refinery complex in Esmeraldas
A view shows the Ecuador's state-run Esmeraldas refinery complex in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, August 15, 2017, REUTERS/Daniel Tapia

QUITO, March 11 (Reuters) - Petroecuador, Ecuador's state-owned oil company, on Friday said it will look to double production to 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the next five years, which will need private sector investment worth some $12 billion.

To achieve the goal, Petroecuador hopes to team up with private-sector oil companies via consortia to develop large blocks of hydrocarbons on land and offshore, as well as include associated gas and liquids output to current production, which sits at around 400,000 boed.

The company hopes to close this year with output averaging 495,000 boed.

"In order to complete these projects within the planned deadlines, private capital and adequate regulations to provide legal certainty to those keen to invest in the hydrocarbon sector will be needed," the company said in a statement.

One of the projects includes integrating the operation of three blocks - two currently operated by Petroecuador - to boost their combined output to 250,000 boed in the next three or four years.

Another will include developing the Pungarayacu field, which has important reserves of heavy crude and is currently awaiting private investment for exploitation of the resource to begin.

The company has also identified six new gas prospects in the offshore Amistad field in the Gulf of Guayaquil.

"There are approximately 45 billion barrels of oil identified and only 14% is being produced, a figure that shows resources are not used properly," Petroecuador chief Italo Cedeno said in the statement.

(Repsol says the company no longer operates any blocks in Ecuador, and it will correct information shown on its website. A Petroecuador presentation listed Repsol Ecuador as a block operator.)

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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