Ecuador Shuts Two Other Pipelines Due To Advancing River Erosion

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Ecuador Shuts Two Other Pipelines Due To Advancing River Erosion

Thu, 12/16/2021 - 12:26
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Flag of Ecuador (© Shutterstock/patrice6000)
Flag of Ecuador (© Shutterstock/patrice6000)

PetroEcuador, on Friday, Dec. 10, shut down its Shushufindi – Quito products pipeline and a 360,000 b/d Sote crude pipeline to avert any possible damage that the advancing river erosion can cause.

The suspension of the major pipeline's operations came just a few days after a foreigner-owned 450,000 b/d OCP crude pipeline shutdown.

The three major pipelines running parallel in the affected Piedra Fina, located in the Amazon's Napo province, faced the risk of rapture resulting from Coca and Quijos advancing river beds erosion.

Part of a major highway connecting Quijos to Lago Agrio, traversing the vulnerable area, also collapsed in Dec,10th adding to the seriousness of the situation in the area.

According to the data released by PetroEcuador, the now-closed 498kilometres Sote pipeline transported approximately 318000 barrels per day to the coastal terminal of Balao from January to October 2021. In addition to the Sote, the suspension of the 10800b\d product pipeline also adds to the severity of the river bed erosions' impact.

Like with the case of the OCP shutdown, PetroEcuador is yet to give the expected restart date for the three major pipelines stating that the suspension will not interrupt local fuel supply or oil exports.

While the firm is presently working on a seventh pipeline bypass in an effort to mitigate the risks, Pablo Luna, the company's chief executive, said the widespread suspension of the pipelines is a measure aimed at safeguarding the infrastructure's integrity.

The current geological catastrophe began in the early months of 2020, just a few years after Coca-Codo Sinclair hydroelectric power plant with a 1.5 GW output began operation in the vulnerable area, sparking speculation of a possible connection.

Meanwhile, the US. Engineers have been of assistance in helping the country to address the crisis.

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