Protesters have forced Canadian oil company PetroMagdelena to halt the production of 3,700 barrels of oil per day at wells in Colombia’s oil-producing eastern department of Casanare.
A small group of protesters set up an “illegal” road blockade in the Cubiro block near Trinidad and San Luis de Palenque on April 19, leading to a “lack of public order,” the company said in a statement.
The protesters were not PetroMagdelena employees or associated with the company in any way, it said. It has withdrawn all non-essential employees from the Cubiro block.
This is the second protest in just over a month to break off the company’s rig operations in the region.
The protesters’ demands have not been made clear, but during a similar incident in March, PetroMagdelena spokesperson Rodolfo Jose Gonzalez said the protests were fuelled by legal changes to the way oil companies paid royalties to local communities. Union leaders, however, alleged the unrest was over a new labor contract that the companies and government had ignored.
Their road block ended after the Colombian government and local officials intervened.
The Canadian-based oil and gas exploration and extraction company has interests in 19 properties in five basins in Colombia.