Bombing Halts Pumping On Colombia's Cano-Limon Oil Pipeline



Reuters

BOGOTA, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Pumping operations along Colombia's second-most important oil pipeline, the Cano-Limon Covenas, were halted due to a bomb attack by rebels from the Marxist ELN group, a police and a military official said on Monday.

Neither gave further details on the attack - the second in a week against the pipeline.

The attack occurred on Sunday in a rural area of La Blanquita in central Boyaca province, state oil company Ecopetrol said in a statement. Production and exports from the Cano Limon fields were not interrupted.

The 485-mile (780-km) pipeline has the capacity to transport up to 210,000 barrels of crude daily from oil fields operated by U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum to the Caribbean port of Covenas.

There were 43 attacks on the pipeline last year and 13 so far this year, according to Ecopetrol, which owns the pipeline.

Attacks on oil installations by ELN, a group of about 1,500 combatants, have been a frequent occurrence during a conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions over the past 52 years.

The attack comes as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' government engages in peace talks with the rebels in Ecuador.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the biggest rebel group in the South American country, agreed to a revised peace accord with the government late last year.

(Reporting by Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Alan Crosby)



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