Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on Friday he would resign if there are any proved "irregularities" in a signed contract between the Ecuadorian government and an international oil giant.
After the takeover ceremony of General Commander of the Navy in Guayaquil, Correa said he would let the Ecuadorian people decide if he can stay in office if an "anomaly" accusation against his eldest brother or any officer in the contract deal is proved.
"If it is proved that the government influenced or was influenced in a dishonest way to give that contract to the company Ivanhoe Energy, my charge will be at the disposal of the Ecuadorian people," Correa said.
The state-owned Petroecuador and Ivanhoe Energy Ecuador signed a contract on Oct. 8, 2008, to exploit and refine oil in the Pungarayacu field for 30 years in the Amazon province of Napo.
This project will give the state more than 40 billion U.S. dollars in profits.
The agreement involves the transformation of heavy oil into light oil through a technology developed by Ivanhoe Energy, which takes the investment risk of some 4.2 billion dollars in 30 years.
Jack J. Grynberg, president of Ecuadorian company Cotundo Minerales S.A., had filed a lawsuit against Fabricio Correa, the president's brother, at a district court in Colorado, the United States.
Grynberg said that Fabricio had demanded money and gifts as payments to speed up the grant of a piece of land, owned partly by his company, to Ivanhoe Energy.