Ecuador could stop pumping oil within 48 hours due to protests

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Protesters march through the Santo Domingo Plaza to demand President Guillermo Lasso address price increases for fuel, food and other basics which have ignited 10 days of demonstrations across the country, in Quito, Ecuador June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos

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June 27 (Reuters) - Ecuador could suspend oil production completely within 48 hours over "acts of vandalism, taking over wells and closing roads", the Energy Ministry said on Sunday, amid anti-government protests in which at least six people have died.

The former OPEC country, which was pumping around 520,000 barrels per day before the protests, may halt oil operations as "it has not been possible to transport the supplies and diesel necessary to maintain operations," the ministry said in a statement.

Ecuador has been embroiled in mass anti-government protests since June 13, with calls for lower prices for fuel, food and other basics, which have led to its oil production falling by more than half.

President Guillermo Lasso said on Sunday he would cut prices for gasoline and diesel by 10 cents a gallon, a day after the government and indigenous leaders held their first formal talks since the protests began. read more

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Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Heavens

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