• 6 hours PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 8 hours Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 10 hours Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 11 hours Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 12 hours Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 13 hours Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 14 hours Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 16 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 17 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 19 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 1 day Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 1 day British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 1 day Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 1 day Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 2 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 2 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 2 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 2 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 2 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 3 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 3 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 4 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 4 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 4 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 4 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 4 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 4 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 4 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 5 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 5 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 5 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Canada’s Pipeline Industry Takes Another Hit

Canada’s Pipeline Industry Takes Another Hit

Canada’s struggling oil industry has…

The U.S. Shale Play To Watch In 2018

The U.S. Shale Play To Watch In 2018

The original U.S. shale gas…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

Ecuador's Radical Initiative to Save its Rainforest from Oil Companies

Ecuador's Radical Initiative to Save its Rainforest from Oil Companies

The Yasuni national Park in Ecuador, where the foothills of the Andes meet the Amazon rainforest on the equator, is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world, and a treasure to be guarded tightly. So when 960 million barrels of oil were discovered beneath the Yasuni park back in 2007, enough to earn Ecuador $7 billion, many began to fear that this ecological haven would be totally destroyed.

Luckily for the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador’s oil and mines minister at the time of the discovery was Albert Acosta, a radical ecologist, and current presidential candidate. He looked at the effect that oil had had on Ecuador and decided that whilst “it has helped our infrastructure,” it has also “brought us immense contamination and environmental destruction. Oil has not solved the problems of Ecuador.”

The Yasuni find represented a big economic boost to Ecuador, but it would also send the oil industry deeper into the rainforest, causing more destruction and contamination to the endangered environment.

Related Article: Tapping into Pakistan's Massive Oil and Gas Reserves

He explained his despair at the destruction that the oil industry did to his country. “I knew the oil industry. I used to work in it. I could see the monster from the inside. I began to think we were poor because of our resources. I called it the curse of abundance.”

On the one hand Acosta despised the destruction that oil was doing to the rainforest, but on the other he could not deny his people the wealth that the oil would bring to the country. His solution came in the form of a revolutionary new scheme that he created in which the oil would be left in the ground, untouched, as long as Ecuador was paid half its value, around $3.6 billion.

Acosta stated that, “oil is unsustainable. We must see it in the long term. Climate change is a limit and we can't continue to keep burning oil. Perhaps we must change our model of life. We cannot live without nature but nature can live without us.”

Related Article: Oil Exports, Politics and Propaganda

In 2010 president Rafael Correa announced that Acosta’s plan would be followed, and that Ecuador would never touch the oil under the Yasuni national park, as long as the rest of the world gave his country $3.6 billion over the next 13 years.

The UN set up the Yasuni fund, which now holds more than $300 million, donated by governments, institutions, companies, and individuals, from Japan, Europe, and the US. The money does not go to the government, but rather into a public fund which is used purely to develop alternative energy projects.

Ivonne Baki, the secretary of state for the Yasuni initiative, commented, “so far, so good. The world is watching. If this succeeds it may open a new era of conservation. If it fails, it will discourage developing countries from adopting bold climate measures."

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Hopi on February 22 2013 said:
    I first heard about this and initially thought: "Wow, is this guy, Rafael, is holding a ransom for the life of this rainforest." So I went online, searched this, and found that it was more like a fundraiser for the country. I am just hoping that all of the proceeds do go the "alternative energy projects".
  • Gisela on January 22 2013 said:
    The timing of James Burgess' article is odd. I received yesterday a message saying that 70.000 ha of the Yasuni National Park were in the process of being opened to Petroleum Companies. The Quichua natives who own that piece of land have not been consulted and they are preparing to fight.
    I visited a Quichua village bordering the Yasuni National Park in September 2012 for my first trip to the Amazon. I personally observed some barges transporting bulldozers, trucks and more into the Yasuni and I was told that oil companies had started to open a road into it.
    So, NO the project of Sr. Acosta doesn't seem to be working. As for the 300 millions (if it is 300 mi.)in the UN fund they were painstakingly donated last year and at the last minute before the deadline. Unfortunately the world leaders have other priorities.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News