Ecuador’s state-owned oil firm Petroecuador has designated an electrical engineer with decades of oil industry experience as its new chief executive. Pablo Luna worked on projects related to crude output, electricity generation and distribution, and risk management at private and public companies. They are committed to combating corruption in the sector and boosting oil production in the Andean nation.
He replaces Gonzalo Maldonado, who assumed the role in December 2020 after serving as Petroecuador manager for international trade.Luna had served as the maintenance manager and operations manager at state-owned oil company Petroamazonas. It managed oilfields in the South American country’s Amazon region before it was absorbed last year by Petroecuador, which focused on oil transport and refining.
Petroecuador said Luna would ensure the company conducts transparent tenders in the processes of the purchase and sale of hydrocarbons and encourage the participation of serious national and international companies in the auctions. An official at oil trading firm Gunvor pled guilty in May to U.S. charges of bribing Ecuadorian officials to win business with Petroecuador.
Luna has aimed to increase Ecuador’s crude output, currently at some 500,000 barrels per day, as the country’s oil sector seeks to recover from a drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, a government cash-flow crisis that has restricted investments, and damage the country’s two main pipelines from landslides. Newly installed President Guillermo Lasso has pledged to double the output of oil, the country’s main export.Petroecuador said on Monday that it had awarded a tender to purchase some 2.16 million barrels of Oriente grade crude to PetroChina, part of which will be exported via a new pipeline connection to the Punta Gorda port.