Reuters Volcanic eruption damages key Ecuador oil pipeline Monday November 4, 2:55 pm ET
QUITO, Ecuador, Nov 4 (Reuters) - A volcanic eruption in Ecuador's oil-rich Amazon
jungle has damaged part of a new heavy-crude pipeline under construction, seen as a
buoy to the nation's economy, the pipeline builder said on Monday.
OCP Ecuador SA, made up of six foreign oil firms and a construction company,
said it could not confirm the extent of the damage to the pipeline near erupting
volcano El Reventador but the people working on it were safe.
"OCP has preliminary reports of some equipment damage and some damage to pipe,"
the company said in a statement. OCP added that it will not be able to evaluate
the damage to the $1.3 billion pipeline under construction until the weather
"At this early date OCP is unable to confirm the extent of the damage and the
potential impact on the construction schedule," the statement said.
El Reventador, located 60 miles (95 km) east of Quito near the heart of the
country's oil industry, started erupting early Sunday and has blanketed the
northern Amazon and the capital with thick volcanic ash.
OCP is building a 450,000 barrel-per-day heavy-crude pipeline that is expected to
start pumping in June 2003, paving the way for expanded production of crude, the
cash-strapped nation's biggest export.
The company has suffered several setbacks due to protests by environmentalists who
oppose the pipeline and from residents who blocked roads to demand government aid
for poor villages.
OCP is made up of Canada's EnCana Corp. (Toronto:ECA.TO - News), Italy's Agip
Petroleum (Milan:ENI.MI - News), France's Perenco, Occidental Petroleum Corp.
(NYSE:OXY - News) of the United States, Spain's Repsol-YPF (Madrid:REP.MC - News),
Argentina's Perez Companc (Buenos Aires:PCH.BA - News) and construction firm
Ecuador currently has only one oil pipeline -- the state-run Transecuadorean
Pipeline or SOTE -- which pumps 400,000 bpd from the jungle to a coastal port.
The SOTE is pumping normally, pipeline manager Marcelo Proano told Reuters. Kevin Koenig Oil Campaigner Amazon Watch 255 3rd St Suite 206 Oakland, CA 94607 Tel: 510.419.0617 Cell: 310.420.8245 www.amazonwatch.org