April 11, 2018 / 2:09 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Indian, Chinese oil companies look to invest in Ecuador, minister says

(Adds comment from ONGC managing director)

NEW DELHI, April 11 (Reuters) - Indian oil company ONGC Videsh is looking at buying a stake in oil fields in Ecuador and may also participate in an upcoming tender for the Intercampos blocks, Ecuador’s oil minister Carlos Perez said on Wednesday.

“We will be signing a confidentiality agreement with them (ONGC Videsh) in the following weeks and we will provide them with information in new blocks,” he said on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum.

“They are (also) interested in partnerships with companies to take a share in the current production in certain fields over there,” Perez said.

ONGC is looking for fields with a minimum 25,000 barrels per day of oil production, he said.

ONGC Videsh managing director N K Verma said: “We had a good meeting with Ecuador and we will explore possibility of expanding our footprints in Ecuador. We are already present in Colombia.”

Ecuadorean crude is heavy in quality, suitable for processing at complex refineries in Asia and the United States.

The OPEC producer needs capital to replace oil reserves, revitalise production and overhaul refineries and terminals. But frequent contract changes have spooked big oil firms in recent years, contributing to an output decline.

Separately, Perez said China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) which already has investments in Ecuador’s upstream sector is also interested in downstream projects such as a 300,000 barrels per day oil refinery.

The proposed plant will be a complex refinery capable of processing crude of API 14 degrees produced at the Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini (ITT) field located in a national park in the Amazon, he said.

CNPC could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Florence Tan and Promit Mukherjee. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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