Ecuador halts major oil pipeline due to protests, eyes force majeure

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Ecuador's state-run Esmeraldas refinery complex in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, August 15, 2017, REUTERS/Daniel Tapia

QUITO (Reuters) - Petroecuador halted operations of its Trans-Ecuadorean Pipeline System (SOTE) on Wednesday after anti-austerity protests choked off production from some oil fields it uses for stock, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.

The state-run company’s pipeline, which normally transports 360,000 barrels per day to the Pacific Coast, was shut down at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), the ministry said in a statement. It added it was weighing declaring force majeure on international contracts due to potential delays in deliveries.

Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Editing by Sandra Maler