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Petroecuador preventatively suspends SOTE pipeline after bridge collapse – Reuters

Petroecuador and private pipeline operator OCP have both suspended operations after bridge collapse
Petroecuador and private pipeline operator OCP have both suspended operations after bridge collapse (Santiago Arcos/Reuters)

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, Reuters

EnergiesNet.com 02 22 2023

Ecuadorean state oil company Petroecuador and private pipeline operator OCP have both suspended operations on their respective pipelines as a preventative measure after a nearby bridge in Napo province collapsed, the companies said on Wednesday.

Petroecuador halted its SOTE crude pipeline and its Shushufindi polyduct after the bridge on the Marker River, which is next to Petroecuador’s facilities in the country’s Amazon, collapsed, it said in a statement.

“A Petroecuador multidisciplinary team is working on a physical evaluation of both transport infrastructures with a view to taking necessary corrective action in the short term,” Petroecuador said, adding the suspension would head off any potential environmental damage.

The 497-kilometer (310-mile) SOTE has the capacity to transport 360,000 barrels per day of crude through the Amazonia, Sierra and Costa regions of the country, supplying a marine terminal and refinery.

The company’s other operations and provision of fuel are functioning normally, it added.

Later in the afternoon OCP said in its own statement it has also halted pumping, saying the bridge collapse was the result of heavy rains.

“We have immediately activated the emergency response plan, halting the pumping of crude and closing the blockage valve, located some 800 meters from the bridge. The pipeline has not ruptured,” OCP said.

Its personnel will drain the pipeline, OCP added.

Both pipelines are regularly halted because of tubing damage from rocks and landslides.

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Chris Reese, Marguerita Choy and Sandra Maler.

reuters.com 02 21 2023

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