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Ecuador’s oil sector could stop due to protests

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Ecuador’s oil infrastructure will have to paralyze its activities in a week if the seizure of wells in the Amazon and the blocking of roads by indigenous protesters continue, said the Minister of Energy and Mines, Xavier Vera.

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He stated that if the conflict continues “i think end of next week” There will no longer be production and he specified that 1,086 wells are not operational, 900 of them from the state company Petroecuador and 106 from private companies, especially in the provinces of Orellana, Sucumbíos, Pastaza and Napo.

Ecuador has a total of 2,220 oil wells in production, 1,600 from Petroecuador and 620 from private companies, and oil is the main export product and the largest source of income from the fiscal box, with contributions of around 30%.

The minister assured that the intermittent and violent siege of indigenous groups on the facilities has caused losses of US$ 73 million.

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Due to the protests, the government was forced to declare a state of force majeure in the oil activity to protect itself from possible lawsuits and fines for non-compliance with the delivery of crude oil.

About the provision of fuels, Vera He said that there are problems with the supply of gasoline and gas for domestic use in nine of the 24 provinces due to the impossibility of tankers reaching their destination due to roadblocks.

Almost two weeks ago, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, the largest of its kind, called a national strike to demand that the government of President Guillermo Lasso reduce the price of gasoline from US$2.55 to US$2.10 per gallon, fixing by decree of prices of agricultural products and a larger budget for health and education, among other demands.

The protest has included the almost permanent blockade of the main highways and violent demonstrations, especially in Quito, which have left at least three protesters dead and dozens injured, both among indigenous people and among police and military.

Asked about the situation of industrial mining, which has two large mines in production, Vera He pointed out that they have suspended their production due to the closure of roads “but in small mining there are also losses estimated at US$12 million”.

Regarding the alleged threats of the protesters to the electricity generation infrastructure, he replied that “Based on the intelligence data, we are anticipating and coordinating so that the electrical infrastructure in the country is safe”.

Source: Gestion

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