CNPC in talks to invest in Ecuador's $12.5-bn Pacifico oil refinery

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's biggest oil producer, is in talks with the Ecuadorian government to invest in the country's $12.5 billion Pacifico oil refinery, Ecuador's strategy minister Jorge Glas said yesterday.

The complex is located in the province of Manabí, Ecuador, and is a joint venture between state-run PetroEcuador and Venezuela's state oil company

PetroEcuador holds a 51-per cent stake in the project, while Petroleos de Venezeula owns the remaining 49 per cent.

The refinery will have a crude processing capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, create around 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, and expected to begin production in late 2015.

Ecuador has been looking for a partner to part fund the project as well as offer technical support. ''We hope to cooperate with CNPC and as a new shareholder in the project, but if there are no agreements between us, we will seek other investors," said Glas.

China's largest commercial bank by assets Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) is also in talks to invest in the oil refinery project.