Pumping has restarted through Colombia’s longest oil pipeline, two months after it was damaged in an attack allegedly perpetrated by the country’s second-largest rebel group, ELN, international media reported on Monday. “The pumping was restored Sunday after they completed repair work,” a source from oil company Ecopetrol said in a quote given to Reuters.
According to the Reuters report, repairs to the Caño Limon pipeline were significantly delayed by an indigenous community based in northeastern Colombia, who opposed the government’s oil mining projects in the region. The U’wa people blockaded the site for over a month, preventing repairs until they reached a deal with the government in early May.
Oil is Colombia’s largest export and an important source of tax revenue and royalties: the economy sustained losses of $8 million per day of the pipeline’s inactivity, reported Colombian financial magazine Dinero. This totaled a loss of $496 million to the country’s output.
The paralysis of the Caño Limon pipeline was reportedly the main reason why the Colombian economy failed to meet its target of producing a million barrels a day in March and April.
The attack was allegedly perpetrated by Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, ELN. They declared war on the multinationals and oil companies for “plundering” the country’s natural resources in November 2013.