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Ecuador may nationalize oil industry

18 April 2010 0:07

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says that he will introduce legislation under which foreign oil companies may face nationalization.

“We are sending the (Legislative) Assembly a bill that would give me the authority to expropriate oil fields if these oil companies do not want to sign new contracts on the services they are providing,” Correa said in his weekly address on Saturday.

Ecuador, which aims to eventually take full state control over the oil industry, currently offers foreign companies the possibility of signing deals under which Quito pays operating expenses and sets the profits that international companies will receive.

Under an old model, prior to Correa’s government, foreign firms obtained as much as 80 percent of the crude they pumped.

Ecuador, OPEC’s smallest member, pumped 466,000 barrels of crude per day between January and February 2010, 41 percent of which was pumped by foreign companies.

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