26 de mayo de 2014 / 16:08 / en 3 años

UPDATE 1-Colombian pipeline Cano Limon-Covenas restarts -source

(Adds quote, background on shutdown, force majeure)

By Luis Jaime Acosta

BOGOTA, May 26 (Reuters) - Cano Limon-Covenas, the Colombian oil pipeline, restarted pumping after two months of paralysis due to a series of bomb attacks and a protest by an indigenous community, a source from state oil company Ecopetrol said on Monday.

The 780-km (485 mile) pipeline had been offline since a bomb attack by rebels on March 25, its longest shut-down since it was inaugurated in the 1980s, causing the company to declare force majeure on at least 25 contracts.

It is now expected to lift the force majeure clause on affected deliveries.

The pipeline was damaged by bomb attacks on several different stretches, many in Norte de Santander province, but repairs to one spot were held up for weeks by the U‘wa indigenous community, who blocked engineers’ access.

The U‘wa were demanding the pipeline be re-routed away from their reserve and that a planned nearby crude oil project be scrapped. They agreed to let repairs start after the government promised to look closely at their demands.

“Pumping resumed on Sunday after the repair work was finished,” said the source at Ecopetrol, which owns the pipeline, with capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, through its subsidiary Cenit.

The reopening of the pipeline will also enable U.S. oil company Occidental to restart pumping oil at the Cano Limon and Caricare fields, which use it to transport 67,000 barrels per day output.

Colombia is Latin America’s fourth-biggest crude oil producer, with output of around 1 million barrels per day.

The FARC and ELN leftist guerrilla groups have stepped up bomb attacks on pipelines in opposition to the presence of foreign oil companies, which they say exploit the country’s natural resources.

Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta said this month that the intensity of attacks has eased so far this year, versus 2013. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Dan Grebler)

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