FARC attacks on Colombia’s largest oil company Ecopetrol have decreased ahead of the landmark peace talks due to begin in October, said a representative of the company on Thursday.
“This month we had only three attacks, which is nothing compared to the historical numbers,” said Adriana Echeverri, Ecopetrol’s Chief Financial Officer.
The oil company’s chief executive, Javier Gutierrez, echoed a similar line Thursday when he said, “the number of attacks was greater at the beginning of the year but right now it has slowed down,” according to Reuters.
Rebel attacks have allegedly only subtracted 3,000 barrels of oil from Ecopetrol’s daily output in the last month, down from a 9,000 barrel per day loss in the preceding months.
The slowdown in violence would be a welcome relief for Ecopetrol, one of Colombia’s most prominent state-owned energy corporations, given the heavy losses already sustained in 2012.
The company’s operations manager Jose Miguel Galindo told reporters in August that the company had suffered losses of $2.1 million this year due to rebel attacks.
The energy company has become an attractive target for the guerrillas given that much of its revenue is funnelled to the government’s coffers, which is often then used to fund military operations against the insurgents. High profile attacks on large corporations, such as Ecopetrol, may also be seen as a deterrent for foreign investors.