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US Refiners Find New Source of Heavy Crude Oil

US Refiners were forced to source their Crude Oil from somewhere else after the United States sanctioned Venezuela oil. Now, the refiners may be forced to resource their crude as French bank Natixis stops funding the Ecuadorian trade. So far, the six European banks have been called out to finance the trade of crude from Ecuador.

There have been concerns about the oil industry which has encroached on indigenous territories in Ecuador including the world’s largest rainforest, Amazon. Natixis amended the official policy on Ecuador’s crude oil trade on 7th April. It has reduced the volume of crude it finances this year. It is stopping all financing of Ecuador’s Crude Oil by this time next year.

In 2020, the country imported 67.9 million barrels of crude oil from Ecuador. Which is down from 74.6 million barrels in 2019. According to the data from Stand earth and Amazon Watch, Natixis financed cargoes of 5.5 million barrels in the last six months of 2020. Previously, other banks announced that they will also stop financing the trade of Amazonian crude including ING, BNP Paribas, and Credit Suisse.

As the United States is replacing the volumes of heavy crude oil purchased from the Venezuela sanction which was 301.9 million barrels in 2015. The United States Crude Oil imports for 2020 from Venezuela were also brought down to zero.

According to OPEC, the oil sector accounts for more than half of Ecuador’s export earnings. It was a member of OPEC until last year. The failing state of its oil pipelines and the country’s oil nationalism have come under scrutiny.

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