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PetroEcuador to increase drilling at its ITT oil fields to boost output

Highlights

PetroEcuador to drill 72 wells at Ishpingo

State oil company to drill 8 wells at Tambococha

Ishpingo wells to produce up to 3,000 b/d

Lima — PetroEcuador aims to boost crude production at its Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini oilfields after completing a drilling campaign next year, the state company said March 9.

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The ITT fields in the eastern Amazaon Oriente Basin, expected to average 60,000 b/d in output during 2021, will see eight wells drilled in Tambococha this year and 72 wells in Ishpingo in 2022, general manager Gonzalo Maldonado said in a statement.

PetroEcuador plans to install two drill rigs at Ishpingo next year with the aim of producing 600-3,000 b/d of crude per well, according to the company. The ITT fields, where the firm has drilled 168 wells to date, were producing 59,471 b/d through March.

The ITT project, which includes an 80,000 b/d processing plant at Tiputini, is 76% complete, Maldonado said.

"We're defining some budget parameters to continue the the drill campaign in 2021 and then in 2022," he said. "We'll continue to develop the block hand-in-hand with environmentally-responsible policies."

Ecuador started drilling at ITT in 2016, after then-President Rafael Correa failed to drum up international donations in exchange for leaving the Yasuni National Park untouched.

Ecuador is scheduled to hold a second-run presidential election runoff April 11 between socialist Andres Arauz and banker Guillermo Lasso, both of whom have pledged to increase investment in the country's oil and natural gas industry.

PetroEcuador, which accounts for 80% of the country's crude output, produced an average of 411,057 b/d in December. Ecuador's total crude production for the full-year 2020, however, averaged 479,250 b/d, down 9.5%, due to a three-month nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and to pipeline closures.