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Fluye el petróleo, sangra la selva

-Graffiti en Quito - Ecuador

Keep the oil in the soil and the coal in the hole

-Conference of Polluters - COP17 - Durban 2011


Regarding the "new and multi-million dollar" ITT reserves.

YASunidos to the country.

Apparently the "most important things in life," like the politic, the economy, the macro-economy... are only valid in so far as they present facts, numbers, and statistics. The more and larger these figures are, the better is, as we've seen for example:

In the ITT block, in an instant, the petroleum reserve went from 920 million barrels of petroleum to 840 million, and then again to 920 million, with a cost in dollars of 7,000 million (while the Yasuní-ITT Initiative was underway) in order to achieve a later value of 18,000 million with the Assembly's approval of the declaration of national interest.

It has now been announced that an additional 750 million barrels of petroleum have been found (meaning a grand total of 1,670 million barrels in the Yasuní ground). According to the Vice-president Glas, we can count on an additional $19,500 million, which added to the $18,000 million of the prior 920 million barrels gives us a grand total of... "an immense quantity" of thousands millions of dollars from which the impoverished populations of the Amazon, as well as the thousands affected by April's earthquake, can finally benefit.

Certainly, he did not waste his time in asking (himself): what type of mathematics does 920 million barrels cost $18,000 million while 750 million barrels (a lesser quantity) costs $19,500 million... we can try to explain it through one of those formulas that appear to be taken from classes imparted conducted o given by Mr. President:







920 million bp


18,000 million USD








750 million bp


19,500 million USD






A= a  ;  B = b   therefore  A > B  ;  a < b   so we can expect  ¿ a < b ?  or ¿???


If you don't understand, don't worry. That's precisely the idea. What's important is to have lots of stats, facts, numbers and more numbers, the harder to understand the better. In the end, this is not a topic for the common people (for you or for us); it's a topic for economists, specialists, technocrats, for the people that have the "capacity" to guide a country as complicated as ours.

And since statistics are not our thing, we feel obligated to modestly leave our doubts and reflections:

The petroleum industry, like mining and other multi-million dollar industries, functions o runs and do profits in the world of speculation. Therefore, it increases and decreases reserves here and there, in agreement with the political and economic conjuncture of each country or region, with the goal of justifying negotiations, contracts, licenses, concessions, etc. etc., and arriving at contractual advantages that assure and guarantee the uninterrupted accumulation of immense quantities of money.

In the same moment that Ecuador gets through a grave economic crisis and tries desperately to attract external investment, the "miracle" increase in newly "discovered" reserves in the ITT block is little less than suspicious.

Therefore, we ask ourselves:

  • What was the objective in ordering a study like that prepared by Ryder Scott to certify the increase of 750 million barrels at the block 43 reserves (ITT)?
  • Could it be seeking to institutionalize a politics of anticipated petroleum sale and to sell more petroleum than we really have?
  • Would a study about seismic risks and the pertinence of constructing a new refinery in a zone recently damaged by an earthquake (like that last April) not have been more useful and necessary?
  • How will the observations of the UN Human Rights Commission be implemented, especially those regarding the vulnerability of the Tagaeri and Taromenane peoples in voluntary isolation, including among others: "... in particular guaranteeing that extractive or other activities located in a situation of high vulnerability are not carried out"?

With this perspective, given the new circumstances of Yasuní-ITT and the evidently resurfacing "fever" of consultations, we reaffirm our demand and insist that the will of the people is respected.

Ecuador has the right to a popular consultation to decide on the Yasuní petroleum situation; now is the time.