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Native name Empresa Pública de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador
Type Government-owned (Empresa Pública)
Industry Oil and gas
Predecessors Corporación Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana
Founded Quito, Ecuador (September 26, 1989 (1989-09-26))
Headquarters Quito, Ecuador
Products petroleum
refined oil products
Subsidiaries Petroproduccion

EP Petroecuador (Empresa Estatal Petróleos del Ecuador; Empresa Pública Petroecuador; literally: Petroleums of Ecuador State Enterprise) is the national oil company of Ecuador.


Petroecuador is a state-owned enterprise, founded on September 26, 1989. It is the successor to Corporación Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana (CEPE) which was formed in 1972.[citation needed]


Petroecuador is engaged in the exploration, production, storage, refining of crude oil and retailing petroleum products. It operates through subsidiaries, such as Petroproduccion (exploration and production), Petroindustrial (refining), and Petrocomercial (transportation and marketing of refined products). The company operates several oil fields, including Shushufindi, Sacha, Auca, Lago Agrio, and Libertador. It also operates the Trans-Ecuadorian oil pipeline network, Sistema de Oleoducto Transecuatoriano (SOTE), built in 1972 for Texaco-Gulf.[citation needed]

Petroecuador owns three petroleum refineries in Ecuador:

  • Esmeraldas Refinery, 110,000 barrels per day (17,000 m3/d) (start-up 1978)
  • La Libertad Refinery, 45,000 barrels per day (7,200 m3/d)
  • Shushufindi Refinery, 20,000 barrels per day (3,200 m3/d)

The company's marketing network includes 148 Petrocomercial service stations.[citation needed]

Safety record[edit]

On February 26, 1998 there was an explosion and fire at the Petroecuador pipeline in Esmeraldas, a port city in northwest Ecuador.[1][2]

Environmental record[edit]

Petroecuador has been the subject of controversy over the impact of exploration and pipeline operations on the environment and Huaorani and Cofan indigenous peoples within the Amazon basin in Ecuador's Oriente (eastern) region. In 1964 oil drilling operations began to take place in previously roadless rainforest, carried out by a joint venture between Petroecuador and Texaco.[citation needed][dubious ]

Advocacy groups such as Amazon Watch and ChevronToxico have attempted to document the oil spills, ecological damage and human impacts of these operations. Prof. Judith Kimerling of CUNY School of Law in 1991 published a book Amazon Crude (ISBN 0960935851) which details many of these problems.[citation needed][clarification needed]

Petroecuador has been the sole owner and operator of the oil facilities since 1990.[citation needed] In 2000–2008, the company was responsible for 1,415 oil spills.[3] Petroecuador has also failed to clean up sites that were its responsibility under the joint venture.[4] Comparable national companies like Petrobras, Petro-Canada, Statoil and Qatar Petroleum have much higher environmental standards.[citation needed]

Between the years 1964 and 1992 the Texaco Corporation and years later Petroecuador carried on intensive oil operations in the northeastern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. These operations affected indigenous and non-indigenous local livelihoods in the area by impairing the ecological functions and biodiversity of thousands of acres of land.[5] Today the effects of these operations have been investigated and through the dumping crude in open pits, burying oil extraction byproducts, and burning unwanted oil without proper treatment, cancer rates amongst indigenous and non-indigenous residence has increased dramatically with in a ten year time period.[6] As oil weathers, contamination occurs as aromatic compounds are released and invade surrounding aquifers.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Santacruz, Silvia (2009-07-21). "Toxic Revenge". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Ecuadorian Farce". Latin Business Chronicle. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  5. ^ Sawyer, Suzana. “Crude Chronicles.” Durham and London: Duke University Press,2004. 1-294.
  6. ^ Dematteis L. Photo Essay: Crude Reflections from the Amazon. Yes! Magazine [serial on the Internet]. 2011 May 4 [cited 2012 January 5]; Available from:
  7. ^ O’Reilly K, Thorsen W. Impact of Crude Oil Weathering on the Calculated Effective Solubility of Aromatic Compounds: Evaluation of Soils from Ecuadorian Oil Fields, Soil and Sediment Contamination 2010; 19 (4): 391-404.

External links[edit]