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Colombia oil pipeline paralysed by rebel attack

14 July 2014

Colombia’s Bicentenario oil pipeline has been attacked by leftist rebels, according to a Reuters report. The July 11 attack took place near the town of Fortul, in Arauca province, on the border with Venezuela. There were no injuries.

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The pipeline crosses areas where there is a strong presence of the two main rebel groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, but neither has as yet claimed responsibility.

The pipeline, jointly run by a group led by state oil company Ecopetrol and Pacific Rubiales, has capacity to transport 110,000 barrels a day along its 230 kilometres (144 miles) from oil fields in Colombia's eastern plains to the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline.

Colombia is the fourth-largest producer of oil in Latin America, but its output has been reduced by heavy attacks in recent months by the insurgent groups. There were 259 attacks on oil installations in 2013, the highest number in a decade.

The Colombian government is seeking peace negotiations with both rebel groups.

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