Petroecuador, PDVSA plan refinery in Ecuador

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 -- Ecuador and Venezuela plan to jointly finance and build a 300,000 b/d refinery in Ecuador's coastal province of Manabi, according to Ecuador's Mines and Oil Ministry.

The ministry said representatives of state oil companies Petroecuador of Ecuador and PDVSA of Venezuela met in Quito, Ecuador, to discuss project details.

"The group analyzed the legal aspects to constitute the mixed economies enterprise and drafted the schedule for preparing the documents," to ensure that the representatives of both companies could sign the contract in March, the ministry said.

Plans call for the completion of a feasibility study for the project in June, with construction to be completed within 4 years. No date for the start of construction was provided.

Ecuador's oil minister Galo Chiriboga Zambrano said the refinery will be financed equally by the two countries and supplied largely with crude from Ecuador. "But later on, it would (use) Venezuelan oil when ours is depleted," the minister said.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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