Ecopetrol: Colombia Oil Pipeline Attack Causes Environmental Damage

(Reuters) — An attack on an oil pipeline near a refinery in the Colombian city of Barrancabermeja has led to environmental damage but caused no injuries, majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol said.

Unknown assailants attacked a pipeline that transports crude to the refinery, which is run by Ecopetrol, as well as a water line that runs to a dehydration plant, the company said in a statement late on Monday.

The attack was carried out with explosives, a spokesperson said.

"The attack ... caused environmental damage due to spilled fluids, and (also caused) uncertainty in communities neighboring Ecopetrol operations," the statement said.

Pumping on the pipeline has been suspended, but production at the oil field was unaffected, a spokesperson said.

Colombia's oil infrastructure is the frequent target of attacks by leftist rebels or thefts. Thousands of barrels of oil are stolen from pipelines each day, to be refined into bootleg fuels and used in making cocaine.

Security forces are investigating the incident, Ecopetrol said.

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