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Ecuador veers left, but energy policy remains unclear

THE country has taken another step towards renationalisation of its oil and gas industry, with the January inauguration of leftist economist Rafael Correa as president. In his inauguration speech, Correa said he would follow a socialist model of economic development and claimed the country's natural resources have been "stolen" in the past by foreign companies. He also said Ecuador will consider re-joining Opec, which it left in 1992. Eager to increase oil production of around 0.52m barrels a day (b/d), Correa wants to ensure a larger role for the under-funded state-owned oil firm, PetroEcuador, but is also open to the involvement of other state-run oil companies in the development of the c

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