AEC to farm into Ecuador block

Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), of Calgary, agreed to farm into Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s Block 15 in Ecuador. AEC will earn a 40% interest in the block and will assume certain capital costs through 2004. Occidental will remain the operator of the block. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), of Calgary, agreed to farm into Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s Block 15 in Ecuador. AEC will earn a 40% interest in the block and will assume certain capital costs through 2004. Occidental will remain the operator of the block. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Occidental said it is pursuing a number of attractive growth opportunities in Ecuador. This transaction provides for the self-funding of Occidental's capital program for existing projects in Ecuador over the next 4 years while freeing investment capital for new projects. Occidental said it is committed to keep its capital spending within a range to continue reducing debt.

Occidental said it is engaged in an "extensive" exploration program in Block 15 and is moving forward with plans for the development of its 115 million bbl Eden-Yuturi oil discovery. Gross production from the block is 30,000 bbl.

Both Occidental and AEC are members of a consortium of companies currently bidding to build a new crude oil pipeline in Ecuador.

The company said its ongoing development plans in Block 15, targeting an increase in gross production to 70,000 b/d in 2003, are tied to the successful completion of a new pipeline.

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