Ecopetrol: Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline back online after attack

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The 220,000b/d Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline in Colombia's Norte de Santander department is back online after an April 29 rebel attack, a spokesperson for Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol told BNamericas.

The attack, allegedly carried out by "groups outside of the law," caused an oil spill of nearly 4,000b.

Oil production was never affected because of spare storage capacity, and Ecopetrol activated contingency plans after the attack, the spokesperson said.

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The Caño Limón and surrounding oil fields produce 100,000-110,000b/d. Ecopetrol and US oil company Occidental (NYSE: OXY) transport crude through the pipeline. The two produce the crude under a strategic association, the spokesperson said.

Operations returned to normal in late March after an attack disabled the 100,000b/d TransAndean pipeline that connects Colombia's Putumayo basin with export facilities in the port city of Tumaco.

The attack, allegedly perpetrated by FARC rebels in southern Colombia along the border with Ecuador, left 7-9 ruptures in the pipeline in early March.

Ecopetrol did not have to suspend production at any point, although some junior producers indicated production may have needed to be reduced before the pipeline came back online.