Oil Storage Pools Set Ablaze in Colombia During Pipeline Repairs

(P&GJ) — Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol said intruders deliberately set fire to crude oil retention pools it was using for storage during repairs to its bomb-damaged Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline.

(photo: Ecopetrol)

This “deliberate action puts communities and water bodies in the area at risk, and generates toxic gas pollution,” Ecopetrol said in a statement released Monday, adding that the intruders locked facility gates after setting the fire to impede emergency response efforts by firefighters and technical personnel.

The crude pools are part of the companies’ contingency plan to deal with repairs to the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline, where 25 attacks have occurred in 2019, of which 15 have been in Arauca. To repair the pipeline, technicians drain the oil from the affected section of the pipeline and temporarily store it in retention pools before it is safely transported by tank trucks, Ecopetrol said.

There have been dozens of attacks on multiple Colombian pipelines this year, including a bombing last week on Ecopetrol's Transandino pipeline in southwestern Narino province. 

The blast did not produce a crude spill but did dent the pipeline, forcing Ecopetrol halt pumping for repairs on the Transandino pipeline after the bombing – the fourteenth on that pipeline this year, which the company said in a statement

In addition to the bombings, Ecopetrol has found hundreds of illegal valves to enable crude theft in recent months.

Although Ecopetrol did not name the group responsible for the attack, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, regularly bomb oil infrastructure.

Related News


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}