Amistad natural gas field; Source: EP Petroecuador

Tender launched for natural gas field offshore South America

Ecuador’s state-owned oil player EP Petroecuador is inviting investors to participate in a tender process for an offshore natural gas field located in the Gulf of Guayaquil. This is being undertaken to ramp up the production of natural gas from the field in a bid to meet the growing energy demand.

Amistad natural gas field; Source: EP Petroecuador

With the rising demand at the forefront, EP Petroecuador decided to launch this tender for the Amistad gas field to enable other companies to become strategic partners through the contractual modality of specific integrated services with financing between the state oil firm and the company and/or the awarded consortium for a period of 15 years.

This is expected to bring in investments of more than $173 million, which will be used for the drilling of new wells, workover of existing wells, and the construction and expansion of facilities required within Block 6. EP Petroecuador formalised the launch of the contracting process for specific integrated services with financing within Block 6 on 9 August 2023.

Ecuador’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Fernando Santos; Chairman of the board of directors of the Coordinating Company of Public Companies EMCO EP, Jorge Benavides; Secretary of Public Private Investments, Roberto Salas, and General Manager of EP Petroecuador, Ramón Correa Vivanco; were among those present at the event along with authorities of the state oil company, representatives of international organisations and the private sector, as well as the media.

Based on the current schedule, the registration will take place until 18 August, field visits from 21 to 23 August, the award on 24 October, and the signing of the contract in the first weeks of November 2023.

“Ecuador will guarantee responsible management of this project, in addition to legal security for investors. It is important to point out that the increase in the production of the Amistad field will allow us to satisfy part of the demand for natural gas that Ecuador currently has,” highlighted Vivanco.

Located within Block-6 in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America, and 55 kilometres from Puerto Bolívar, the Amistad natural gas field was discovered in 1970 by ADA company with the drilling of the Amistad-1 well, which began production in 2002, under the operation of EDC company. The cumulative production is around 252 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

According to Ecuador’s state-owned energy firm, the natural gas from this field is used by the Electric Corporation of Ecuador (CELEC) for the generation of electricity, ceramic industries, and a small amount for domestic use in the towns surrounding the area of operations. The original gas-in-place (OGIP) estimate is 1.076 trillion cubic feet.

With 2P certified reserves of 167.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas and prospective resources of 241 billion cubic feet of natural gas as of May 2022, the Amistad field’s production facilities have the capacity to reach a production of 94 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD), which is the operational capacity of the pipeline. The current production is 21 million cubic feet per day.