First half drilling activity up almost 70%Ecuador  | Oil & GasBy David CasallasBusiness News AmericasThursday, November 22, 2012A total of 152 wells were drilled in the first half in Ecuador compared to 90 in 1H11, according to the hydrocarbons department (SHE).Of the 152, 145 were development wells, six exploration and one appraisal, with Petroecuador'sE&P management unit responsible for a total of 49 wells, followed by state E&P companies Petroamazonas and Río Napo with 44 and 28, respectively.Earlier this month, Petroamazonas assumed management of fields operated by Petroecuador.Private operators drilled 31 wells, led by Andes Petroleum (16), Petrooriental (5), Repsol (NYSE: REP) (5) and others (5).At end-June, a total of 3,053 wells were in operation, the majority on acreage held by Pacifpetrol (1,418), Petroecuador (526), Petroamazonas (431), Río Napo (173), Andes Petroleum (166) and Repsol (156). Eight other companies held a combined 183.SHE next week is scheduled to issue a call for bids for the country's 11th round, dubbed Suroriente, where 13 blocks will be offered under the service contract model with investment expected to reach US$1bn-1.2bn.>