Ecuador resumes crude exports, some production after pipeline repairs
The incident forced the Andean country to declare force majeure on its crude exports, and state-run oil company
Petroecuador rescheduled 10 crude cargoes planned for the second half of April due to the force majeure
Reuters May 09, 2020, 06:50
QUITO: Ecuador has resumed crude exports and some oil production after repairing its two main pipelines that were damaged by a mudslide last month, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and state-run oil exploration and production company Petroamazonas.
The incident forced the Andean country to declare force majeure on its crude exports, and state-run oil company Petroecuador rescheduled 10 crude cargoes planned for the second half of April due to the force majeure.But in the past week, Petroecuador has completed repairs to its SOTE pipeline and privately held OCP Ecuador has completed repairs to its Heavy Crude Pipeline.
The Explorer Spirit tanker loaded with Orien te crude at the Andean country's Balao Terminal on Thursday and is currently underway to Long Beach, California, Refinitiv Eikon data show. Another tanker, Aqualegend, is currently loading at Balao, the data show.
Petroecuador did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the resumption of exports. There are currently two other tankers waiting to load crude in Ecuadorean waters, and three tankers waiting to discharge imports.
Separately, state-run oil exploration company Petroamazonas said in a statement that it began restarting operations at its Sacha, Drago, Libertador and Lago Agrio fields on Friday, with initial production of some 45,000 barrels per day (bpd). "Production will increase steadily until reaching the levels of before the pipeline incident," the company said, adding that several more fields would come back online by Tuesday.
Petroamazonas said it would begin activating wells at ITT, the country's biggest oil field, on Saturday, but did not provide a timeline on when it was expected to be fully operational.
Before the two pipelines burst, Petroamazonas produced some 425,000 bpd. The country's total crude output was just 69,759 barrels on Thursday, energy ministry data show.