He Energy Minister Fernando Santos Alvite announced that a new manager of the public company Flota Petrolera Ecuatoriana (Flopec) will be appointed next week. The newly appointed authority will replace the current general manager Luis Lavayen. The change in management comes amid controversy over the conflict of interest between Petroecuador and Flopec, both public companies, when it comes to selling and transporting crude oil.

Saying conflict of interest or cross interests comes from monopolies Flopec, through which the company established high rates to improve its revenues, but which ultimately affects Petroecuador, to which companies that buy crude end up charging those values ​​in the differential. Thus, Ecuadorian crude oil suffered from differences of -15 and -21 dollars per barrel.

The information was published by the now former member of parliament and current presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio.

And now, yours Minister Santos acknowledged that there is a problem: “it’s zero sum: the more Flopec wins, the more Petroecuador loses and vice versa,” he says.

In this regard, Santos said that together with the manager of the Company for the Coordination of Public Enterprises (EMCO), Joaquín Ponce, several new candidates for the management of the transport company have already been interviewed, and they were told that they must “align with Petroecuador.

The new management candidates were told that they would have to meet with the director of international trade, Reinaldo Armijos, every week. Now Armijos also recognizes this damage. In an interview on First fruits He said buyers of Ecuadorian oil report that the freight rate charged by Flopec is too high. He also assured that “Petroecuador has sent countless letters to Flopec to make its freight rates more competitive, but we haven’t seen an opening,” he said. In addition, he indicated that Petroecuador does not know the cost of transportation. He assured that they requested the information from the oil carrier, but that they did not receive an answer.

In the meantime, Minister Santos also said that he stands by the idea of ​​Flopec and Petroecuador merging. He explained that among the reforms expected in the country from the executive power, there could be one in this sense, in order to permanently align interests. In any case, during Petroecuador’s accountability, held on May 25, Petroecuador’s manager, Ramón Correa, together with Lavayena, promised to work together on behalf of both companies.

In terms of crude oil transportation, the type of ships in which the crude oil is transported plays an important role, since depending on their size – due to economies of scale – the price is lower if contracted through larger ships. the big ones which are VLCC and Suezmax. Unfortunately, according to Petroecuador data, vessels used for export in the period from January 2020 to March 2023 prevail over the use of smaller vessels: Panamax and Aframax.

On this topic, the Foreign Trade Administration commented a few weeks ago that “in the long-term contracts with Petrochina, the use of Panamax, Aframax and Suezmax ships is allowed”. However, since the contracts are FOB and due to the Freight Reservation Act, buyers must ship their shipments strictly in agreement with EP Flopec. Therefore, shipments are made via Aframax and are not exported using Suezmax vessels, since Flopec does not have this type of container available. “EP Petroecuador manages exports in accordance with the logistical and operational coordination maintained by Flopec and Petrochina,” the company said.

Tenders for Amistad and gas collection are expected in July

On other issues, minister saints assured that there is a new date for the tenders of both Field of friendship as from catching gas from a lighter. It will be in July this year. The tenders have been delayed for several months, with various excuses. In the case of lighters, the tender in which the company was already qualified was declared invalid Amazon Tech. As for Campo Amistad, the minister mentioned in recent statements that the gas field should be transferred to the hands of the Ministry in order to launch a tender under the modality of the participation agreement.

When the minister asked if these were the final deadlines, he said that the orders had been given, and that “if they don’t obey them, they should go home”.