Petroecuador Lifts Force Majeure on Output

Petroecuador has lifted the force majeure on crude oil exports that had been in effect since last week. Operations have resumed on the country's only pipeline, Sote. Repairs have been completed following a rupture due to a landslide.

On Wednesday, only 284,000 barrels had been transported through the pipeline since the reopening. That's lower than the 360,000 barrels that officials had expected would be transported. The volume is expected to continue increasing throughout the day, which would allow the company to schedule loadings for the remainder of the month.

During the eight days that Sote operations were halted, total Petroecuador production was cut by about 360,000 barrels. Petroecuador production stood at 140,856 barrels on Wednesday, compared to normal daily output of 210,000 barrels. Company sources project that it will take four days to get production back to its normal level.

The Sote pipeline has been in operation for more than 30 years and is subject to frequent ruptures. The most recent event marked the second time this year that a rupture has resulted in a shutdown. It's estimated that 10,000 barrels of oil were spilled following the latest rupture.