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News > Colombia

Colombian Oil Pipelines Illegally Tapped, Tampered With

  • Ecopetrol pipelines in Colombia, 2017

    Ecopetrol pipelines in Colombia, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2019

According to Colombian Attorney General Fernando Carrillo, in 2018 the Caño Limon-Coveñas Pipeline was tapped illegally 89 times.

An explosion in Hidalgo, Mexico caused by gasoline theft left more than 125 people dead in late January, but the issue isn’t isolated just to that Latin American country. Colombia is also experiencing gas theft in the department of Arauca in northeastern Colombia.

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Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest oil company company said it is investigating the issue and has installed an alternative pipe about 300 meters from where petroleum was apparently siphoned off Tuesday.

The privately held Ecopetrol said "these illicit actions put the integrity of the people at risk," and reported no one had been affected by the tampered pipelines.

CNN didn’t receive a response from Arauca authorities regarding the tampered pipelines.

The Caño Limon-Coveñas pipeline, hacked earlier this week, is 770 km long and transports crude excavated in Caño Limon in the Arauca department.

So far this year, Ecopetrol has experienced some six attacks on this pipeline in Arauca and Norte de Santander — two on Jan. 9 and one other on Jan. 5.

According to the Colombian Attorney General, Fernando Carrillo, in 2018 the Caño Limon-Coveñas Pipeline was tapped 89 times.

Another pipeline, the Mansoya Orito Pipeline (OMO), was tapped Monday night in the department of Putumayo, near the Ecuadorean border. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

Ecopetrol reported that at the time of the attack, the 73.4-kilometer pipeline with the capacity to transport around 24,000 barrels of oil per day was not in operation.

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