Ecuador suspends oil exports indefinitely following landslides

Mar 11, 2004 01:00 AM

Ecuador suspended its oil exports indefinitely and declared an emergency force majeure after landslides damaged its Transecuadoran pipeline some 70 km (44 miles) east of the capital. The state oil company suspended exports to guarantee local supplies, declaring a force majeure that enables the government to halt shipments due to an accident without sparking sanctions from purchasers.
"The management of PetroEcuador's international business informed our oil purchasers of the suspension of exports through a force majeure," said PetroEcuador president Pedro Espin.

Two heavy landslides damaged the pipeline near Baeza, east of Quito, bringing an abrupt halt to crude shipments through the Amazon jungle. Officials said another PetroEcuador pipeline had also been damaged by the landslides.
Oil is Ecuador's principal export, providing some 30 % of government finances. Ecuador's crude exports raked in a record $ 2.3 bn in 2003, as the country pumped 418,000 bpd of oil. Of this, some 60 %, or 253,224 bpd were exported abroad.

Source: Agence France Presse
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