Peru, Ecuador may connect oil pipelines

Lima�Peru and Ecuador are considering performing a prefeasibility study on connecting an oil pipeline in southeastern Ecuador with one in northwestern Peru, according to Peru Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Chamot. Chamot made the announcement during a meeting of the Peru-Ecuador Binational Energy and Mines Technical Committee meeting in Lima Apr. 27.

The study is to be financed through the Peru-Canada cooperation program.

If approved, the study would be performed by Canadian companies Alberta Energy Inc. and SNC Lavalin Engineers & Constructors Inc. on the technical side and by Agra Earth & Environmental Ltd. on the environmental side. The project will determine feasibility of either connecting the pipelines or connecting the fields near the countries' common border.

Petroperu�s 200,000 b/d northwest pipeline operates at one-third of its capacity. One of the possibilities is for Ecuador to use the excess capacity for pumping oil to Bayovar on Peru's northern coast for shipment to Guayaquil.

Although Petroperu's oil fields and the La Pampilla refinery were privatized in the mid-1990s, the state oil company still owns and operates the Talara, Iquitos, and Conchan refineries and the North Peruvian Pipeline.

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