QUITO--OCP Ecuador S.A. expects to begin using its heavy oil pipeline by the end of this year to transport Colombian crude, about 15,000 barrels per day, as part of the company's expansion plan, Chief Executive Andres Mendizabal said Thursday.
OCP Ecuador manages one the Andean nation's two main oil pipelines, known as the Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados, or OCP. It can transport about 450,000 barrels a day, but usually transports 130,000 barrels of Ecuadorean crude oil.
The Colombian crude will come from Amazonian oil fields in southern Colombia to the OCP's maritime terminal in Esmeraldas.
The OCP expansion plan seeks to transport in a second phase, in about two or three years, 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Colombian fields in the Putumayo area.
Mr. Mendizabal said that for the first phase "there are about five or six Colombian oil producers interested and two of them with firm interest, with whom we would sign the first agreements to transport crude," but he declined to give details on the companies.
Currently, technical inspections are being performed to allow a connection between state-run Petroecuador's Lago Agrio station and OCP station Amazonas in Ecuador, through a Repsol pipeline.
OCP's shareholders are Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY); Spain's Repsol (REP.MC); Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), or Petrobras; France's Perenco Corp.; Italy's ENI SpA (E); and China's Andes Petroleum.
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