The process to select a developer for Ecuador’s Amistad offshore natural gas field is expected to begin by May, according to energy and mines minister Fernando Santos.
Santos provided the update during a local radio interview, adding that the expectation is that the awarding will take place in June-July and that a platform could begin drilling at year-end.
He said that the launch has been delayed because an exemption was sought to an eight-mile restriction for extractive activity along the coast.
An exception was made as gas is considered a “clean” product, he said.
Amistad, also known as block 6, is in the Guayaquil gulf and produced 217,569boe in the first two months of 2023, information from national oil company Petroecuador shows.
In comparison, the country’s associated gas output in the period totaled 297,061boe and crude production reached 22.9 million barrels.
According to preliminary information, the contract for Amistad would run for 20 years with a forecast capex of US$500mn to increase output to 15,000boe. Five to six prospects have been identified with gas potential of 2Tf3.