Petroecuador Plans to Militarize Oil Ops

Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador plans to sign an agreement next week with the nation's armed forces to protect all oil production operations in the country, Petroecuador said in a statement.

The agreement aims to stop theft, the cutting of secondary pipelines and other attacks faced by Petroecuador's production subsidiary Petroproduccion. Private companies in the country suffer similar circumstances.

Petroecuador lost US$40mn from January-May this year as a result such attacks, which are blamed on local residents.

The most recent took place on the Lago Agrio field, where production was cut more than 3,500b as a result.

Petroproduccion reported production losses of 21,700b crude through April this year as a result of 17 attacks on installations, according to a previous BNamericas report.

The move to militarize oil operations, which was deemed "urgent and necessary," will call for the armed forces to provide a specialized permanent team to guard facilities.

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