October 10, 2018 / 5:08 PM / 2 months ago

Colombia's Cano Limon pipeline has no restart date yet -Ecopetrol source

BOGOTA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Pumping on Colombia’s Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline remains halted because of bombings and a landslide, with no restart date yet set, a source at state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday.

The 480-mile (773-km) pipeline, which can transport up to 210,000 barrels per day, has been halted for 45 days since a bomb attack in August. A restart was then pushed back because of a September landslide, caused by rains, which damaged tubing.

“We still don’t have a date to reestablish pumping. The work has been delayed by insecurity problems in the area and heavy rains,” the source said.

The pipeline’s halt has had no immediate effect on exports or on production at the Cano Limon field, operated by Occidental Petroleum, because the company is using a different pipeline for transport, the Ecopetrol source said.

The pipeline was stopped for six months earlier this year because of repeated attacks and crude theft, before restarting on July 10. It has been attacked at least 72 times in 2018.

Ecopetrol typically does not name the group responsible for bombings, but the military regularly attributes the attacks to rebels from the National Liberation Army (ELN).

The ELN, considered a terrorist group by the United States and European Union, has an estimated 1,500 combatants and opposes multinational companies in Colombia, claiming they extract natural resources with no benefit to Colombians.

The ELN and the previous presidential administration began peace talks in February 2017, but new President Ivan Duque has said he will continue negotiations only if the group frees ten civilian hostages. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta, writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; editing by Helen Murphy and G Crosse)

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