Ecuador’s oil production, its main export, fell by about 100,000 barrels a day, or 21%, due to mass mobilizations of indigenous people who have been rocking the country for almost ten days, the head of the public oil company announced on Tuesday. of the Latin American country.
“It is” possible “that” today we are losing 100,000 barrels of oil a day, “the director of the public company Petroecuador, Italo Sedenio, told Ecuadorian media.
The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador (CONAIE) has been protesting for nine days against the government of conservative President Guillermo Lasso, mainly demanding a reduction in fuel prices.
Demonstrations, particularly roadblocks in more than half of the country’s 24 provinces and marches in many cities, have reduced crude production by Petroecuador and other companies, such as China’s PetroOriental.
“Production is falling not only because (the protesters) are squatting in mining facilities, but because they are now attacking power plants,” Mr Sedeni said.
“Without electricity generation, no oil can be extracted,” the Petroecuador executive explained.
The supply of crude through secondary pipelines to the town of Lago Agrio (east), from where it is transported to the Pacific ports and the two main pipelines, has also been suspended, always according to Mr Sedenios, who called for “a little more efficiency”. »Mobilizing the army to restore order in the Amazon, where the oil wells are located.
Ecuador’s oil production between January and April was 481,000 barrels per day (78% from Petroecuador), of which 65% was exported, according to the central bank. If the protests continue, it may be gradually reduced to 129,000 barrels per day by June 30, according to estimates by the public oil company.