Ecuador has qualified 19 companies to bid for eight onshore blocks in the country's Intracampos licensing round, ushering in what some industry insiders see as a new investment-friendly era for the country’s oil sector.

The blocks on offer — Araza East, Chanague, Iguana, Perico, Espejo, Panayacu Norte, Charapa and Sahino — are described as conventional opportunities in the Sucumbios region of the Oriente basin, most with possible sandstone reservoirs, and one with a limestone reservoir.

The administration of President Lenin Moreno has been working to improve tax conditions, with the introduction of a hybrid form of production sharing contracts and a more predictable calendar for bid rounds.