Options for the ITT Block
Energy Minister Alberto
Acosta has referred on numerous occasions to a civil society
proposal not to extract crude oil in Yasuní National Park. On
30 March 2007 President Correa analyzed the alternatives for
developing what has been referred to up until now as the ITT
A Ministry of Energy and
Mines press release issued on 1 April 2007 puts forward the
following proposals regarding the ITT oil fields:
It was agreed that the first option would be to conserve the crude
oil in the ground, so as not to affect an area of extraordinary
biodiversity and not to endanger the existence of numerous peoples
in voluntary isolation, nor those peoples who remain uncontacted .
This measure will be considered if and when the international
community provides at least one half of the resources that would be
generated if the decision were made to exploit the oil - these are
resources that the Ecuadorian economy needs for its development.
As a second possibility, the door was left open for the state oil
company to develop the ITT field with its own resources.
Petroecuador has a multidisciplinary team of professionals that has
systematically worked on this matter since the discovery of the
field by the state company itself. This proposal should consider the
prior extraction of heavy crude oil, whose sale would serve to
finance the project as a whole.
The search for strategic alliances is another possibility to be
studied. However, it was emphasized that these alliances can only
materialize with companies that are considered state companies. At
the moment there is a draft Memorandum of Understanding with
SINOPEC-ENAP-PETROBRAS, which in no way implies a contractual
commitment of any kind. This draft memorandum does not close the
door to other strategic partnerships, such as the one that has been
discussed with Venezuela through its state company PDVSA, in the
framework of the cooperation agreements signed with this country.
There are, of course, other state companies from different parts of
the world that have expressed their interest. Within this line of
action it is possible to rearticulate a group of alliances combining
the abovementioned or other additional ones.
regard to the signing of confidentiality agreements for the purpose
of analyzing ITT technical data, it was considered that such
agreements could be signed, but that they would not by any means
constitute a commitment obliging Petroecuador to sign any future
contract for the exploitation of this field.
Finally, the possibility was not ruled out for an international call
for bids that would be open for participation by state companies
with proven technical and economic capacity, in the framework of a
public process that would guarantee the best outcomes for the
country, as established in article 19 of the Hydrocarbons Law.