Beginning yesterday, 81 wells operated by Ecopetrol have been suspended amid blockades and disruptions at Colombia’s largest oilfield, costing the state-controlled oil company 9,500 barrels of oil per day in production.
According to the firm, members of the Alto Unuma indigenous community have acted out of protest at the Rubiales field and “taken by force” one of the onsite water disposal plants. The demonstrators orders to shut down the wells are the cause of the drop in oil output, said Ecopetrol in a statement.
Additionally, around 100 people have blocked routes to Rubiales, stated the company. This has prevented about 400 workers from being able to do their jobs and disrupted drilling, production, maintenance, and other day-to-day operations.
Ecopetrol said that it “categorically rejects these actions” that put people’s safety at risk. The oil company has been working with local authorities to resolve the situation and has advocated for dialogue with the demonstrators.