CNPC Scoops Ishpingo Drilling Contract

Ecuador program will involve over 40 wells over 18 months.

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The first drilling contract at the Ishpingo oil field near Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park has been awarded to China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Energy Minister Juan Carlos Bermeo told Reuters. Following the approval of a new hydrocarbon law and legislation, Ecuador plans to move forward with auctions and competitive processes for securing foreign and domestic capital for oil and gas exploration, production, transportation, and refining projects.

The first drilling campaign to start after an environmental license was granted for the sensitive area will involve 40 wells over the next 18 months. It will focus on the field’s allowed zone without touching an area protected by a court ruling that has prevented extending drilling.

Ishpingo is the latest part of the ITT-43 oil field in Ecuador’s Amazonia region to start drilling after Tambococha and Tiputini. It is expected to produce heavy oil to be added to the nation’s output of flagship Napo crude, Bermeo said.