Spanish oil major Repsol said it plans to develop a new oil field in Ecuador that could yield between 5 million and 6 million barrels of crude.
The company will invest between $73 million and $75 million in that field - known as Wati and located south of Block 16, where Repsol currently has operations - and may begin its drilling campaign there in 2015, the head of Repsol operations in Ecuador, Luis Garcia Sanchez, said Thursday.
In 2013, Repsol contributed a total of $262.5 million to the Ecuadorian state, paid $48.1 million to suppliers and invested $36.7 million to drill five wells and complete six others.
Garcia Sanchez provided those figures during the presentation of Repsol's corporate responsibility report for the Andean nation.
The Spanish multinational, which has the largest stake - 35 percent - in two service contracts with the Ecuadorian government to develop Block 16 and the Tivacuno Block, invested $11.7 million last year in environmental-care-related activities in Ecuador.
Repsol, which reported 12 hydrocarbon spills in Ecuador in 2013 that "did not significantly affect" the environment, attained a pipeline integrity management index of 78.9 percent and "managed to significantly reduce the level of pipeline risk," according to the report.
In 2013, investments channeled by Repsol into projects to benefit local communities in Ecuador rose to $1.9 million, including $673,000 contributed by the Repsol Foundation.
Ecuador, the smallest oil-producing member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had more than 8 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of January 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EFE