Petroecuador to meet with potential crude suppliers in Houston
HOUSTON Oct 1 (Reuters) - State-run Petroecuador plans to meet in Houston next week with 24 firms keen to sell oil to Ecuador and discuss the terms of a big pending tender to import medium sweet crude, according to an internal document from the oil company seen by Reuters.
Petroecuador has said it wants to import crude for the first time in decades to feed its renovated 110,000 barrel-per-day Esmeraldas refinery if companies invited to participate make a good proposal that must include financing for the purchases.
"We hereby confirm our interest in acquiring approximately 30 million barrels of crude oil with quality about 28 API degrees and sulfur up to 0.7 percent, which should be delivered DAT (delivered at terminal) Ecuador," the letter says.
The purchases would cover 12 months of deliveries, representing a volume of some 82,000 barrels per day (bpd) and becoming Latin America's second largest tender to buy crude, after Venezuela's proposal to import 75,000-150,000 bpd.
Petroecuador has not revealed the names of the firms participating, but sources said producers in Africa are well positioned to offer cheap Nigerian or Angolan medium crudes.
Meetings will be held separately with each interested company on October 6-7.
Ecuador's intent to start regular crude imports is controversial in the OPEC-member country because it has always been an exporter of crude and comes as the country is already struggling with low crude oil prices, reducing its revenues in dollars. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Terry Wade)
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