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LatAmOil: Ecuador lifts force majeure

The government of Ecuador has lifted a declaration of force majeure on exports of crude via the country’s two main pipeline systems, the Trans-Ecuadorian Oil Pipeline System (SOTE) and privately-owned Heavy Crude Pipeline (OCP).

Energy Minister Juan Carlos Bermeo made a formal announcement on Quito’s move to end force majeure on January 6, saying that the oil industry had taken sufficient action to mitigate the threat of soil erosion that led to a 20-day shutdown in December. Crude exports have resumed, he noted.

Meanwhile, the Energy Ministry noted that Ecuadorean oil production had climbed back to 449,000 barrels per day as of January 6, equivalent to 93% of the 485,000 bpd reported before the imposition of force majeure last month. Petroecuador, the national oil company (NOC) of Ecuador, accounted for about 77% of the total, or 346,000 bpd, while private operators accounted for the remaining 23%, or 103,000 bpd.