China national Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is in discussion with the government of Ecuador over possible involvement in a refinery development worth approximately US$ 12.5 billion.
The Pacifico refinery complex is currently being run as a joint venture between the national oil companies of Ecuador and Venezuela, Petroecuador and PDVSA and is scheduled to begin production towards the end of 2015. Once in operation, the refinery is expected to produce 300 000 bpd
As part of China’s ongoing bid to secure its energy supply, Chinese firms have been purchasing assets around the globe and CNPC’s involvement in Pacifico could be a continuation of this trend.
Jorge Glas, Ecuador’s minister for strategic sectors said, “CNPC could become a shareholder … our challenge is to find a shareholder. We hope to reach an agreement with them, but if it doesn’t happen, we will look for another partner. Other companies are interested.”
Ecuador currently has to import oil products because of a lack of refining capacity; the country produces approximately 500 000 bpd, a portion of which is sold to the Chinese market.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley