Ecuador's energy minister says U.S. and Argentine companies are investing nearly $1.7 billion to boost production in the country's two main oil fields by 40,000 barrels a day.
Ministor Wilson Pastor tells a TV station that the fields in Shushufindi and Libertador in the country's northern Amazon jungle now produce just under a third of what they did 40 years ago.
Pastor says the U.S. company Schlumberger Ltd. and Argentina's Tecpetrol will invest in consortiums along with Sertecpet, an Ecuadorean partner.
The partners will get no less than 5 percent of profits from new production in the contract's first year, 9 percent in the second year.
Oil is Ecuador's main export. It currently produces 504,000 barrels a day.