Colombia's Cano Limon-Covenas Pipeline Attacked for Ninth Time in 2023

(Reuters) — The suspension of pumping operations at Colombia's Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline will be prolonged after a new bombing attack damaged its infrastructure in the country's Arauca province, oil transportation company Cenit said.

The attack, the ninth this year, took place on Thursday in the Saravena municipality, prompting the company to activate its emergency contingency plan to control the subsequent oil spill and mitigate pollution, said Cenit, a subsidiary of Colombia's majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol.

"The company calls on the nearby community to refrain from approaching the site of the incident, until the evaluation, repair and clean-up operation that is in place is completed," Cenit said in a statement late on Thursday.

Colombia's military is working to secure the area, Cenit added.

Pumping along the pipeline has been suspended since April 14 due to other attacks, a Cenit spokesperson said, adding that the restarting of operations will depend on the military's ability to secure the area where the attacks took place while repairs continue.

Cenit did not attribute the attack to any particular group, but guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents who reject a 2016 peace deal with the government operate in the area, according to the military.

The Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline, which can transport up to 210,000 barrels of oil per day and runs along Colombia's northern border with Venezuela, was attacked 13 times last year, leading to fires and contamination of the surrounding area.

It was not immediately possible to establish how the suspension of oil pumping had affected production at oil fields in Colombia's Arauca province, including those belonging to private companies SierraCol and Parex.

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