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Ecuador May Seize Perenco Assets Over Tax Dispute

By Nathan Gill
Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Ecuadorean Oil and Mines Minister Derlis Palacios said Perenco SA has until March 3 to pay taxes or state-owned PetroEcuador will take steps to seize the French oil company’s assets.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Feb. 14 that he had given the order to begin a lawsuit against Perenco over its failure to pay taxes. Quito-based El Comercio newspaper reported in May that Perenco was disputing an increase in Ecuador’s oil windfall tax before the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute.

“The doors are open to reach an agreement with Perenco,” Palacios told reporters today in Quito. “Sadly, we have not yet received a suitable proposal.”

Perenco spokesman Paddy Spinks in London didn’t immediately return a message from Bloomberg News seeking comment. A man who answered the phone at the company’s offices in Paris after regular business hours said no one was available to comment.


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