Gasoline is spilling into a waterway in the Colombian department of Cundinamarca from a pipeline operated by state-owned Colombian oil company Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC | BVC: ECOPETROL).
The Bogotá-based company said in a statement that it has initiated a contingency plan to deal with the spill, which it says began after a hole was illicitly made in the pipeline.
Outside actors have been known to creates holes in pipelines, including this specific pipeline passing through the town of Guachetá, to siphon off natural resources that are later sold illicitly. The National Liberation Army (ELN), the last major guerrilla group remaining in the country, has also carried out hundreds of pipeline attacks in recent years.
This is the 20th illegal valve the company has found this year in this specific pipeline, according to Ecopetrol.
The company is working with local emergency management authorities to help mitigate the situation, the company said in a statement.
Ecopetrol added that it condemns illegal actions that harm the environment and its operations.