Sep 2018: The Minister of Energy and Non-renewable Resources announced an open licensing round (Intracampos) for 8 onshore blocks in Sucumbíos Province with conventional opportunities. They are Araza Este, Changue, Iguana, Perico, Espejo, Pañayacu Norte, Charapa and Sahino.
Mar 2018: A bidding round has been launched for foreign companies hoping to attract US$800mm. Winners will operate 4 oil fields (Cuyabeno-Sansahuari, Yuralpa, Oso and Blanca-Vinita) in the eastern Amazon region and 1 gas field (Amistad) in the Gulf of Guayaquil under 10-year service contracts. Companies will carry out drilling, well completion, reactivation and construction of facilities.
Oct 2017: E and P blocks will be offered in January under new terms allowing producers to be paid in oil and enabling them to export or sell to local refineries. The switch to PSAs from service contracts will make the the Intercampos project offer of 8 blocks more attractive. A further auction will offer 16 blocks along the border with Peru under the Sur-Oriente project.
Jul 2017: Ecuador has announced it will start raising oil production again, saying it is unable to meet its commitment to lower output by 26,000 bbls per day to 522,000 as agreed with OPEC in 2016.
Sep 2016: Production from the Tiputini field in Block 43 has started, one of three heavy oil fields, the others being Tambococha and Ishpingo, called ITT located in Yasuni National Park. Drilling is being conducted from just outside the park by extended reach methods.
Feb 2015: Ivanhoe has now terminated its Specific Services Contract on Block 20 but remains willing to work with state oil company, Petroamazonas, should oil prices recover.
Jan 2015: Ivanhoe is scaling back its activities in Block 20 in response to lower oil prices. Block 20 is located 201 kms SE of Quito and contains the Pungarayacu oil field. Ivanhoe agreed that one of the world's largest NOCs would farm in and operate Block 20. However the NOC has now delayed its final decision to proceed.
Sep 2014: Eni has made a significant heavy oil discovery at the Oglan-2 appraisal well in Block 10 in the Napo Basin, 7 kms from the processing facilities of the Villano field. Production capacity per well of up to 2,000 bbls of oil per day is indicated with in-place volumes of 300 mm bbls.
Dec 2013: Ecuador has bids for only 4 of 16 blocks offered in the Amazon jungle. Repsol and Andes Petroleum made offers for 3 whilst state oil company, Petroamazonas, in partnership with Enap and Belarusneft, will develop the fourth. The blocks lie in Pastaza and Morona Santiago provinces near the border with Peru, on the edge of Yasuni National Park.
Sep 2013: Petroamazonas plans to start production at Block 31 in the Yasuni National Park before the end of 2013. The Apaika and Nenke fields will initially produce a total of 2,000 bbls per day eventually rising to 20,000 bbls per day. Peak output for the block may be reached in the next decade at 73,000 bbls per day but subject to approval by the National Assembly.
Aug 2013: Ecuador will open the Yasuni area of the Amazon rainforest to drilling after failing to get international payments the government were asking for not to explore in the area (GS notes: hardly surprising; only naïve organisations could support this undoubtedly temporary delay). The 3 blocks are known collectively as the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) field.
Jul 2013: Ecuador has extended for the second time the deadline to submit offers for companies interested in the 11th licensing round for 13 blocks in the southeastern Amazon region; Pastaza and Morona Santiago provinces near the border with Peru.
Dec 2012: Ivanhoe Energy expects to begin production at the Pungarayacu heavy oil field by 2015. The field, discovered in 1970, is located in Block 20, Napo Province, 200 kms southeast of Quito, in the Amazon Basin. It could reach 100,000 to 130,000 bbls per day of heavy oil with technology used to transform the crude into lighter grades. In 2008, Ivanhoe signed a 30-year service contract to develop the field.
Nov 2012: Petroamazonas is taking over the E & P activities of Petroecuador. Petroamazonas will operate 14 blocks, including the Amistad gas field in Guayaquil Gulf. Petroecuador will continue to operate refining and transport. State-owned companies produce 373,000 bbls of oil per day including Rio Napo, a joint venture with PDVSA for the Sacha oil field. Petroamazonas was created to operate fields owned by Occidental seized in 2006 and those run by Perenco and Petrobras. It also operates the Panacocha field.
Nov 2012: Ecuador launched its 11th licensing round for bids for E and P contracts covering 13 blocks in the high risk SE Amazon area near the border with Peru. Petroamazonas, who will take over the E & P unit from Petroecuador, also plans to negotiate to develop 3 further blocks. Companies have 6 months to submit a bid and terms will be on a production fee basis.
Oct 2012: Petroecuador plans to increase gas output from the offshore Amistad field in block 6 to 1 bcm per year by the end of 2013 with 4 new development wells to be drilled over 18 months plus workovers. In March Petroecuador said it had upgraded Amistad reserves to 40 bcm. The field was formerly operated by Noble Energy but Petroecuador took it over after Noble refused in 2010 to change its PSC to a service agreement.