Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp. and Trafigura presented bids for a contract to lift some 20.2 million barrels (bbl) of Ecuadorean crude between 2020 and 2023, the Andean country’s energy minister told reporters on Dec. 3.

The country expects to pick a winner for the contract, which is expected to generate $950 million in export income for Ecuador, in the coming days, said the minister, Jose Agusto.

Ecuador invited some 51 companies to participate in the auction, the first of its kind in more than a decade. The price of the oil will be determined by a formula taking into account the price of the country's oil sales on the spot market plus a premium.

Shell, through its Shell Western Supply and Trading Unit, proposed the highest premium, according to state oil company Petroecuador.

Under the contract, Ecuador will deliver the winner four shipments of 360,000 bbl each of Oriente-grade crude in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 and 2023, the country will deliver the winner 24 shipments of the same amount per year.

Ecuador produces some 545,000 bbl per day of crude.