November 26, 2018 / 8:28 PM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Ecuador to support OPEC oil production cut -energy minister

(Adds details on Ecuador output, oil market context)

By Alexandra Valencia

TIPUTINI, Ecuador, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Ecuador would support a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production when the group meets next week in Vienna, the South American country’s energy minister said on Monday.

But Ecuador, one of OPEC’s smallest members, does not expect the cut to derail its own plans to boost production to 560,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, up from 515,000 bpd currently, as it seeks to increase government revenue to cut its fiscal deficit, said the minister, Carlos Perez.

“The country needs these resources, and I do not think there will be any issue because our output is marginal in the context of OPEC,” Perez said during a tour of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oilfield in the country’s Amazon region. “The country’s interest comes before our commitments to OPEC.”

The ITT field is crucial to those plans. The government expects output in the area to rise to 114,000 bpd next year, up from 64,000 bpd currently.

OPEC will meet on Dec. 6 amid expectations that leading producer Saudi Arabia will push for a production cut of up to 1.4 million bpd by the producer club and its allies to prop up weak oil prices.

“We will support it because it will have a positive impact,” Perez said. “The moment we get crude inventories under control, that will have an effect on the price of crude.” (Writing by Luc Cohen Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)

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