State-run Petroecuador seeks investor boost in 23 oil fields

QUITO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Ecuador's state oil company, Petroecuador, announced on Monday two separate bidding processes to seek partners to invest in one of its largest oil blocks and almost two dozen other, smaller, fields in a quest to boost the Andean nation's production.

Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso has said that he hopes to double Ecuador's crude production, which currently stands at 495,000 barrels per day (bpd), with strong private investment in the strategic sector.

The first tender will be for the Sacha field, considered one of Ecuador's most productive, pulling in 70,000 barrels per day (bpd). The private partner must provide financing to increase reserves and improve extraction levels in the area, Petroecuador said in a statement.

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The state-run company said it will continue to operate the Sacha block jointly with the selected partner through a contract for specific integrated services, with financing from the other party.

Petroecuador did not disclose the amount of investment required or the goals for increasing production in the block.

With the second bidding process, Petroecuador is seeking financing from a contractor to increase the output of 22 oil fields located throughout the country's Amazon region. The fields are operational but require further investment to reach their potential.

A protest led in June by indigenous groups against government measures severely affected the country's crude oil production, which has failed to stabilize despite authorities' efforts.

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Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sandra Maler

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