An oil pipeline in Colombia’s eastern region has been damaged after an attack by the ELN, the country’s second largest guerrilla group, local media reported on Friday.
The attack on the Caño Limon – Coveñas oil pipeline between the states of Boyaca and Norte de Santander were carried out by the armed guerrilla group shortly after the Colombian government and the local indigenous U’wa community reached an agreement to repair the pipeline after previous attacks, El Espectador reported.
The attack, which occurred in the municipality of the Cubara, is similar to previous attacks by the ELN on the same pipeline infrastructure in the region in January and March.
Although Colombian oil company Ecopetrol has activated a contingency plan on the damaged pipeline, the authorities have warned of a possible environmental emergency as the oil spill could contaminate several nearby tributaries, especially the Arauca River, El Espectador reports.
Due to the talks between the U’wa community and the government to address issues — such as changing the location of the existing pipeline — the circulation of oil through the 480 mile-long-pipeline had been stopped for almost 40 days.
The multiple attacks on the oil pipeline this year has caused oil production in the region to cease, and has reportedly resulted in potential export of between 35,000 barrels of oil per day, El Espectador reported.
The oil pipeline infrastructure has suffered 34 attacks so far this year, Caracol radio reported.
- Eln ataca nuevo tramo de oleoducto Caño Limón- Coveñas (El Espectador)
- Guerrilleros del ELN atacan oleoducto en el oriente del país (El Caracol)