Ecuador denies seizure of French oil firm

18th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Ecuador on Friday denied claims it had seized French energy firm Perenco, but pledged to ensure operations owned by the company continued, despite a production halt ordered by owners.

Quito - Ecuador on Friday denied claims it had seized French energy firm Perenco, but pledged to ensure operations owned by the company continued, despite a production halt ordered by owners.

"There has been no confiscation of installations nor of the fields. What we will do is give support," said Wilson Pastor, manager of Petroamazonas, a subsidiary of Ecuador's state-owned oil company.

He added the move was intended to ensure that "Perenco production would be sustained" at facilities that pump out around 22,000 barrels of crude per day.

Perenco on Thursday said it would suspend production after the Ecuadorian government confiscated 2.5 million barrels of Perenco crude output in a long-running tax dispute.

Quito claims the firm owes USD 327 million  in dues.

In June, Ecuador's president threatened to expel foreign oil firms that launch legal challenges against his government.

Ecuador faces claims totaling around USD 13 billion before the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Many of the claims come from foreign businesses, including Perenco and US-based Occidental Petroleum and Burlington.

Ecuador produced around 496,000 barrels of oil between January and May this year.

AFP / Expatica

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