Petroecuador Resumes Oil Transport on Sote Pipeline

Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador resumed oil transport on the national Sote oil pipeline on Wednesday morning after halting operations the previous day as a result of protestors occupying a pumping station in the village of Baeza in eastern Ecuador, Petroecuador said in a statement.

Protestors were evacuated by police at midnight and transport resumed half an hour later, the statement said.

The 60 protestors had occupied the station to pressure the government into resolving controversy regarding the operations of US oil company Occidental (NYSE: OXY).

The government has charged Oxy with illegally transferring a 40% stake in block 15 to Canadian oil firm EnCana (NYSE: ECA), overproducing on some wells and not complying with its investment plan in the block.

Sote is the main transport artery for Ecuadorian oil. The pipeline is 506km long, has six pumping stations and a capacity of 410,000 barrels a day (b/d), although it currently only transports 340,000b/d, the statement said.

Petroecuador aims to transport 132 million barrels of oil on Sote this year, according to a previous BNamericas report.

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