Colombian rebels have bombed a natural gas pipeline owned by Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, forcing the pipeline to shut down until repairs can be made.
An official at Colombia’s state oil firm Ecopetrol who asked not to be identified said Monday Ecopetrol was told by Colombia’s armed forces the rebels attacked the pipeline Saturday night in the northern La Guajira region, near the Venezuelan border.
The gas in the pipeline comes from a nearby field operated jointly by Ecopetrol and U.S.-based Chevron, said the Ecopetrol official. The pipeline runs from Colombia to Venezuela.
Officials at PDVSA and Chevron weren’t immediately available for comment.
Local reports said pipeline is used to deliver a daily average of 200 million cubic feet of natural gas to Venezuela.
A statement on Chevron’s website said it and Ecopetrol operate the onshore Ballena and Riohacha natural gas fields in Colombia’s La Guajira region and that last year Chevron’s total average daily production in Colombia was 714 million cubic feet of gas.
The Ecopetrol official said the armed forces blamed the attack on Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The FARC, which has been at war with Colombia’s government for nearly half a century, often bombs pipelines owned by Ecopetrol, but local reports said this was the first time it was blamed for bombing a pipeline owned by Venezuela’s PDVSA.