QUITO - Ecuador received seven bids from four companies, including two from China and Canada, interested in developing a set of oilfields in its Amazon region, the energy ministry said on Wednesday, as the government looks to boost the country's oil output.
The companies were interested in four of six blocks included in the Intracampos II area, which according to initial estimates will require private investment of $2.1 billion, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said China's Andes Petroleum, Canada's Petrolia Energy, the Ecuadorean arm of Uruguay's Petrobell and Petrolamerec - a subsidiary of Argentina's Petroleos Sudamericanos - submitted technical and economic bids for the fields, located in Ecuador's northeastern Sucumbios province, which borders Colombia.
The ministry did not indicate when it would award development rights to the blocks.
President Guillermo Lasso had promised to double Ecuador's oil production by time his term ends in 2025, but has since admitted this goal will not be feasible due to problems sustaining output and drawing in private investment.
Ecuador is one of Latin America's mid-range oil producers, behind regional heavyweights Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Authorities in Ecuador said they had carried out a "socialization process" with Indigenous groups and communities who live in areas that could be impacted by the oil projects.
Ecuadorean authorities and oil companies have clashed with local communities pushing for consultations and a say on whether developments should advance.
The government has said it will launch new tenders for additional oil and gas fields later this year.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Sarah Morland Editing by Marguerita Choy)