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Colombian Pipeline Bombed For The 78th Time This Year

Colombia’s Cano Limon crude oil pipeline that can transport 210,000 bpd of crude has been bombed again, for the 78th time since the start of this year, Ecopetrol, the state oil company, said, as quoted by Reuters. Previous attacks have been blamed by the Colombian army on a rebel group, the national Liberation Army, or ELN, which is considered a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

The pipeline was not operational at the time of the attack, which is the second in as many months. In September, Reuters reported that the pipeline was bombed again in the same region, close to the border with Venezuela. At the time, the pipeline was shut down so the attack did not cause a lot of damage. In fact, the pipeline was shut down six months earlier precisely because of the repeated attacks.

The Cano Limon pipeline carries crude from the same-name field, which is operated by Occidental Petroleum. The ELN, a Marxist organization, bombs oil infrastructure in protest of the presence of multinational companies in Colombia’s natural resources industry claiming it robs the locals of the benefits this sector offers.

Last month, another pipeline, this one operated by Canadian Grand Tierra Energy, was bombed in Colombia, according to army sources who spoke to Reuters. The pipeline carries crude from Gran Tierra’s Costayaco field. This time, the perpetrators might have been members of the disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which laid their arms down two years ago after it reached an agreement with the government. Some members of the group, however, refused to accept the terms of the agreement and remained active.

Last year, Colombia produced an average of a little over 850,000 bpd of crude. Reserves are estimated at 1.782 billion barrels, but a recent study from the Colombian Petroleum Association estimated the development of unconventional oil reserves in the country could generate an additional US$500 million annually.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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