Ecuador Hopes to Pay Off Debt to Perenco This Year: Minister

Ecuador plans to pay off a debt it owes to French oil company Perenco at the end of this year and is open to a dialogue to determine how the payment should be made, the country's economy minister said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Ecuador is obliged to pay compensation to Perenco after the World Bank's International Centre for Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled the country had unlawfully ended a production-sharing agreement with Perenco and owed it $391 million including interest. Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, has promised to pay the debt, but after resolving pending tax obligations owed by Perenco for operations at two oil blocks. The tax amount owed by Perenco is around $50 million, Economy Minister Pablo Arosemena told Reuters, an amount the government hopes a U.S. court will discount from the ICSID judgment. Read more.