The country of Ecuador has about 4,200 proven reserves of oil within its borders, mainly in the Amazon region. Much of Ecuador’s oil is located under extremely biodiverse habitats, and drilling for the oil would endanger thousands of plant and animal species. The government of Ecuador is considering a plan that would leave about 20% of Ecuador’s oil permanently in the ground, in order to preserve biodiversity and prevent the release of greenhouse gases as a result of deforestation. To make the plan work, however, Ecuador would almost certainly need financial help from the international community. It’s not completely clear yet whether major industrialized nations will cooperate to help save Ecuador’s forests from oil drilling.
The reserve estimate should be for 4,200 million barrels (4.2 billion) and in fact that estimate has increased to 6.5 billion in 2010.
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