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Ecuador highlights oil and gas integration with Venezuela

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa outlined Thursday his country’s oil and gas integration with Venezuela at the inauguration of an oil rig rented from its neighbor.

Under the agreement between the two countries, Venezuela will rent two oil rigs to Ecuador. The first one started to operate Thursday in the Guanto Dureno well, operated by Petroproduccion, a branch company of Petroecuador, in Lago Agrio, a province of Sucumbios. The second rig was expected to arrive in March. Correa pledged that the crude oil production of Petroecuador would increase from 173,000 to 190,000 barrels per day and he expected oil and gas extraction to increase by 15,000 barrels this year.

The Ecuadorian leader highlighted Chavez’s solidarity in offering Ecuador two rigs and technicians at a discounted price, which covered maintenance, operation and administrative expenses. The rent charge of the rig is $7,976 per day, while in the international market it would be over 30,000 dollars, said Correa.

Petroecuador and Venezuela’s oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will also create a joint company for the exploitation of the Sacha field, in the Amazon rainforest region and build an oil refinery in June in the province of Manabi, which will produce 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. (