October 8, 2013 / 11:05 PM / 4 years ago

Explosions knock out Colombia's Ecopetrol pipelines, some wells

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol ECO.CN said three bomb attacks in northern regions late on Monday shut some of its pipelines and wells, a day after it reported the shutdown of the country's No. 2 crude oil pipeline.

Two explosions in Barrancabermeja, Santander province, affected a propane pipeline which carries 15,000 barrels-per-day equivalent of the gas. In Cantagallo in southern Bolivar province, an explosion damaged gas and crude pipelines and forced the closure of 30 wells which produce 5,000 barrels between them per day, Ecopetrol said in a statement.

Army anti-explosive experts inspected the affected areas on Tuesday and confirmed that they were attacks on oil infrastructure. The country's two left-wing guerrilla groups, the FARC and the ELN, regularly attack oil and mining infrastructure as a five-decade insurgency continues.

On Monday Ecopetrol said the Andean nation's second most important oil pipeline, the Cano Limon-Covenas, had been shut down after three bomb attacks which security forces also attributed to the left-wing guerrillas.

Foreign direct investment in Colombia has surged in recent years due to improved security with most cash destined for the oil and mining sectors, but oil companies had to contend with attacks as frequent as every two to three days in 2012.

Reporting by Peter Murphy; editing by Jackie Frank

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