BOGOTA, March 17 (Reuters) - Ecopetrol declared force majeure on three shipments of crude after rebel attacks along Colombia’s second most important oil pipeline halted pumping operations, the state oil company said on Thursday.
Two attacks were carried out by the National Liberation Army (ELN) over the weekend in rural areas of northern Norte de Santander and Arauca provinces, police and military sources have said. Another attack occurred on Thursday in Arauca near the border with Venezuela.
The Ecopetrol official declined to say how much oil is affected or name the companies involved.
The 485-mile (780 km) Cano-Limon Covenas pipeline has the capacity to transport up to 210,000 barrels of crude daily from oil fields operated by U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum, near the border with Venezuela, to the Caribbean port of Covenas.
Attacks by the ELN on oil installations have been a frequent occurrence during a conflict that has taken more than 220,000 lives and displaced millions over the past 52 years.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the biggest rebel group in the South American country, declared a unilateral ceasefire in July as it negotiates a peace accord with the government. The FARC has stopped its attacks on pipelines. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Helen Murphy; editing by Grant McCool)