QUITO – Several Colombian companies are interested in investing in oil infrastructure projects in Ecuador, private pipeline operator OCP Ecuador said Wednesday.
Those Colombian firms may invest up to $150 million in a 29-kilometer (18-mile) conduit that would link up with OCP Ecuador’s OCP pipeline, the Andean nation’s largest, Guillermo Freire, manager of the company’s crude transport division, told reporters.
That bi-national conduit would be used to transport heavy crude from southern Colombia and connect with the OCP, a 485-kilometer (301-mile) pipeline with four pump stations that carries crude from Ecuador’s Amazon region to the Pacific coast, Freire said.
He did not indicate which companies have expressed their interest in the projects to the Ecuadorian government.
“Our expectations are that it will come to fruition (an agreement for the construction of the pipeline will be signed) sometime next year,” he said, adding that the difficult part will be securing the environmental license.
The OCP, which traverses four Ecuadorian provinces and, according to Freire, has the capacity to transport 52,000 barrels per day from Colombia, currently carries 4,000 bpd of crude from that neighboring country under an agreement signed with the Colombian firm Vetra.
The OCP transported around 135,000 barrels per day on average in 2013 and that total is expected to rise to an average of 165,000 bpd by the end of 2014 due to increased production, according to Freire, who noted that the pipeline has a 450,000-bpd capacity.