EFEQuito

Oilfield services giant Schlumberger has agreed to invest a combined total of $4.9 billion over the next 20 years in Ecuador, the Andean nation's vice president's office said in a statement.

Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas made the announcement during a ceremony in which Schlumberger signed a specific services contract with state oil company Petroamazonas EP for Block 61, which is located in the northeastern Ecuadorian Amazon.

The company, which has principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, will pay out $1 billion in the coming days and invest $2.1 billion over the first nine years of the contract to optimize and increase production from Block 61.

That spending is aimed at boosting crude output by 20,000 barrels per day in the coming years.

The company also will assume $1.8 billion in operating costs for the block over 20 years, while Petroamazonas EP will remain the owner and operator of the block.

Schlumberger will be paid per barrel produced, according to the statement, which says the multinational will assume the investment risk.