AEC eager to get started on Ecuador pipeline

If Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), Calgary, and its partners receive approval to build an $850 million (US) crude oil pipeline in Ecuador, AEC says, they could begin the project within several months.

Sep 27th, 2000


If Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), Calgary, and its partners receive approval to build an $850 million (US) heavy crude oil pipeline in Ecuador, AEC says, they could begin the project within several months.

The Ecuadorean government has granted two parties-Williams, Tulsa, and an international consortium led by AEC-the right to bid on the project. It rejected a proposal by the Ecuadorian Army Corps of Engineers and a Brazilian combine including Petroleo Brasileiro SA on grounds of financing. The bids were presented earlier this month (OGJ Online, Sept. 5, 2000).

The AEC group includes Repsol-YPF SA, of Spain; Agip Petroli SpA, of Italy; and Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Kerr-McGee Corp. of the US.

The 311-mile crude line would run from Lago Agrio in Ecuador's Oriente jungle region across the Andes to the seaport of Esmeraldas.

The Williams proposal calls for a 500-km, 310,000 b/d heavy oil pipeline it estimates would cost no more than $575 million.

AEC, which produces 47,000 b/d of crude from the Oriente region, said the international consortium has presented a firm proposal to the Ecuadorian government. "We will be the single biggest investor in that [project] and the leader down there, and we'd like to get it going in the next couple of months," said AEC CEO Gwyn Morgan.

AEC interest in the project, if approved, is expected to be 25-33%.

AEC acquired its Ecuadorian production in 1999 with a $973 million (Can.) takeover of Calgary-based Pacalta Resources Ltd.

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