Lago Agrio Oil Field - Development and Ownership

Development and Ownership

In 1964, Texaco Petroleum Company (TexPet) began exploring for oil in northeast Ecuador, in an area which was inhabited only by indigenous people. The following year it started operating a consortium owned equally by itself and Gulf Oil, to develop a tract in the area. Nueva Loja was originally founded as a base camp of Texaco. The consortium struck a gusher in 1967 and began full-scale production in 1972. The Ecuadorian government, through its national oil company CEPE, now Petroecuador, obtained a 25 percent interest in the consortium in 1974. Gulf subsequently sold its interest to CEPE. By 1976, the consortium was majority-owned by the Ecuadorian government. TexPet transferred management of the consortium to Petroecuador in 1990. TexPet's concession expired in 1993, leaving Petroecuador as the sole owner. Petroecudaor continues drilling in the area.

Over a period of 20 years, the Lago Agrio field produced 1.7 billion barrels (270×10^6 m3) of oil with a profit of $25 billion. According to Chevron, 95 percent of the profit from the consortium went to the government.

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