Ecuador has signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian energy giant Gazprom to explore opportunities for the Amistad natural gas field at Block 6 in the Gulf of Guayaquil, the Wall Street Journal reported citing Jorge Glas, strategic sectors minister coordinator.
"Gazprom wants to explore natural gas in all offshore available areas," Glas told journalists.
He added that Gazprom was also interested in “various stages of the natural gas business,” but revealed no more details.
According to WSJ, Amistad was formerly operated by a local unit of U.S. oil and natural gas exploration and production company Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), but Ecuador’s state-run Petroecuador took it over after the U.S. company in 2010 refused to change its production sharing contract to a new service agreement.
Petroecuador intends to invest some $120 million in 2012-2013 to increase natural gas production at the block.