Cano Limon, Bicentenario Pipeline Pumping Halted After Bombings

(Reuters, 22.May.2019) — Pumping on Colombia’s Bicentenario and Cano Limon oil pipelines has been halted following bomb attacks in recent days, sources from operators Bicentenario and state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday.

Military sources attributed the bombings, which both took place in eastern Arauca province near the border with Venezuela, to the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels.

The attack on the 143-mile (230-km) Bicentenario, the first in at least two years, took place last week in a rural area of Fortul municipality, a source from the company said. Repairs are not yet finished, they added. The bombing on the 485-mile (780-km) Cano Limon occurred on Tuesday in a rural part of Arauquita municipality, a source from Ecopetrol said. It is the sixteenth attack on the pipeline this year.

There have been more than two dozen attacks on Colombian pipelines so far in 2019. Cano Limon was hit more than 80 times in 2018, which kept it offline for most of the year. Ecopetrol does not usually name the group responsible for bombings, but two military sources attributed the attacks to the leftist ELN guerrillas, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

The ELN opposes multinational companies, saying they seize natural resources without benefiting Colombians.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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