Petroecuador requests bids for three drilling rigs, cancels Drillfor contract

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Sept. 29 -- Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador reported that it plans to call for tenders this week for three drilling rigs to boost its oil production to 218,000 b/d by yearend, reported Business News Americas. The company could award the contract by next week.

The tender falls under what Petroecuador called an"emergency" following the cancellation by its production subsidiary Petroproduccion of plans to hire two rigs from local firm Drillfor to renew drilling activities in Shushufindi and Lago Agrio oil fields, reported newspaper El Comercio. Petroecuador reportedly had awarded Drillfor a contract in August, but rescinded it when the rigs did not pass Petroecuador's technical inspections and could not be upgraded sufficiently in time, El Comercio reported.

Drillfor is said to be preparing legal action against Petroecuador.

Meanwhile Petroproduccion said it is 2 months behind schedule and "urgently" needs to start drilling. It wants to hire a rig from Occidental Ecuador Inc. to drill two wells in Sacha oil field, to produce 8,000 b/d.

It also intends to drill five wells itself, and one with local company Dygoil.

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