March 13, 2020 / 7:28 PM / 4 months ago

Section of Transandino pipeline destroyed in attack with explosives

BOGOTA, March 13 (Reuters) - An explosion destroyed a section of pipeline in southern Colombia but did not cause an oil spill, Ecopetrol subsidiary Cenit said on Friday.

The attack against the Transandino pipeline happened on Thursday night in the rural Mallama municipality of Colombia's Narino department.

The pipeline, which measures 306 kilometers and can carry around 85,000 barrels of oil a day to the Pacific Ocean port of Tumaco for exportation, was not operating at the moment of the attack, a military official in the region said.

Cenit did not attribute the attack to any particular group but leftist-guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissidents from the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas who reject the 2016 peace deal have a presence in the region.

So far in 2020 the pipeline has suffered eight attacks, according to statistics from Cenit, which also reported a blockade of people in the region who are impeding the removal of four valves used to illegally remove oil.

"The company has informed the authorities about the situation," Cenit said. In 2020 so far it is has closed 224 valves on the Transandino pipeline. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta and Oliver Griffin; Editing by David Gregorio)

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