OCP Ecuador restores pipeline operations after constructing two bypasses

July 3, 2024
After 16 days offline, OCP Ecuador SA resumed crude oil transportation services on its heavy crude OCP pipeline the morning of July 3.

After 16 days offline, OCP Ecuador SA resumed crude oil transportation services on its heavy crude Oleducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) pipeline the morning of July 3.

OCP Ecuador was forced to suspend pipeline operations on June 17 due to erosion concerns following heavy rainfall and the rising Coca River. 

The incident prompted EP Petroecuador to activate a contingency plan to manage the situation affecting Napo and Orellana provinces. Petroecuador filled storage tanks at various points and planned shuttering of wells extracting Napo crude oil, which could no longer be transported.

OCP Ecuador and Petroecuador worked to mitigate impacts of the pipeline disruption while planning for long-term solutions to restore full operational capacity and economic stability. 

"With a technical team of over 400 people and the support of more than 20 companies, we constructed two bypasses at Kp 99 and Kp 102 in record time. Each bypass is 1.4 km long and is located in El Chaco Canton, Napo Province [Ecuador],” OCP Ecuador said. 

OCP Ecuador transports 40% of Ecuadorian oil, particularly Oriente heavy crude produced by Petroecuador from ITT fields. 

The complete economic ramifications of the disruption are unclear. A June 26 update indicated Ecuador lost about US$6.5 million/day.  

Production figures as of July 1 show Petroecuador’s production hit 300,550 b/d. Including fields managed by private companies, Ecuador's total production is about 382,048 b/d, far from the 485,533 b/d recorded until June 16, 2024.

About the Author

Camilo Ciruzzi | South America Correspondent

Ciruzzi is a journalist based in the Argentine province of Río Negro. He has over 30 years of experience in radio and print media. Ciruzzi studied Communication Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and specialized in energy, political economy, and finance.

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