Ecuador begins the extraction of crude oil from a field located in its Amazon reserve

Ecuador began this Wednesday the extraction of some 3,600 barrels of oil per day from the Ishpingo field, which is part of the ITT block, located in the Yasuní Amazon park considered a biosphere reserve, reported the Secretary of the Presidency.

“If this well maintains the current production trend of 3,600 barrels per day (…) about 60 million dollars per year will be generated, which will be invested in improvements to the education, health and safety system,” a statement said.

It is planned that in the Ishpingo field, operated by the Chinese company CNPC Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Company Limited, another 36 wells will be drilled for the extraction of heavy crude oil.

Together with the Tambococha and Tiputini fields (in operation since 2016), Ishpingo is part of the so-called ITT block, which is mostly within the Yasuní, a reserve of almost one million hectares through which peoples in voluntary isolation travel.

The block, located in the province of Orellana (east, bordering Peru), stores some 1,050 million barrels of oil.

The extraction of crude oil from the first well in the Ishpingo field is in line with the plan of the government of President Guillermo Lasso to double oil production in the country, despite the opposition of indigenous people and environmentalists.

In 2021, Ecuador exploited some 505,000 barrels per day (bd), most of it by state-owned Petroecuador, according to the Central Bank. That same year, the average price of Ecuadorian crude was 51.81 dollars per barrel.

The ITT block was part of a failed environmental initiative by former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) that sought to keep crude oil underground in exchange for international compensation of 3.6 billion dollars.

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