Ecuador set to renegotiate foreign oil deals

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OPEC member Ecuador will renegotiate dozens of foreign oil contracts with the aim of bringing in 85-90 percent of the revenue for itself, officials said Tuesday.

Ecuador's leftist government will renegotiate 33 foreign oil contracts starting next week with Spanish-Argentine YPF and Chile's Enap, Non-Renewable Resources Minister Wilson Pastor told a press conference.

"We will be starting out with Repsol and Sipec (part of Enap)," he said.

President Rafael Correa's government on July 26 signed a legal reform under which the state is 100-percent owner of crude oil production in the South American nation. Currently Ecuador produces 472,000 barrels per day.

Contracts are to be negotiated with the goal of turning them into oil industry services contracts, the minister said.

Previously the companies had contracts giving them the right to pump crude oil and they owned what they pumped.

Now the state is aiming to bring in 85-90 percent of oil income for itself, Pastor said, up sharply from under 20 percent just a few years ago.

The contracts are to be ironed out by January 23, 2011, Pastor said.

© 2010 AFP

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