Ecuador forbids drilling in Amazon jungle

Oct 16, 2007 02:00 AM

Ecuador said it will not allow oil drilling in the Yasuni rain forest in the country’s remote Amazon jungle area which is inhabited by unique tropical species and Indian tribes. The move could limit the operations of China's Andes Petroleum, Spain's Repsol and Brazil's Petrobras who manage oil fields partially inside the area.
"We are not going to allow oil exploitation in this area because there are international treaties that protect these tribes," Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga told.

President Rafael Correa has recently turned up the heat on foreign oil companies by grabbing nearly all additional oil revenues above a benchmark price and pushing for the re-negotiation of their contracts.
However, government officials said companies could request compensation for not extracting oil out of the 700,000-hectare area home to species ranging from endangered white-bellied spider monkeys to rare jaguars.

Repsol produces around 65,000 barrels of oil per day in South America's number-five oil producer while Andes Petroleum's daily output borders 60,000 barrels.
The protected area is inside the Yasuni rain forest, which Ecuador has offered to protect from oil drilling in exchange for cash compensation from the international community. The Yasuni holds the country's largest oil reserve of around 1 bn barrels.

Source: not available
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