May 2, 2014 / 1:46 AM / 4 years ago

Colombia to repair oil pipeline after deal with indigenous group

BOGOTA, May 1 (Reuters) - A Colombian oil pipeline owned by state-run Ecopetrol will be repaired after the government reached a deal with the U’wa indigenous community who have been blocking access to a damaged section for more than a month, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

The 780-km (485-mile) Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline has been offline since a bomb attack by leftist guerrillas on March 25. Engineers have been unable to access the site due to a blockade by the U’wa who demand the pipeline be re-routed away from their territory and that a nearby oil project be scrapped.

The Cano Limon and Caricare fields are operated by New York-listed Occidental Petroleum Corp. They produce about 67,000 barrels per day of crude via the pipeline, which has been shut down since the explosion.

The Interior Ministry confirmed the deal with the U’wa by Twitter following a meeting with the community on Thursday attended by its minister, Aurelio Iragorri Valencia, the Mines and Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta and Ecopetrol Chief Executive Officer Javier Genaro Gutierrez. (Reporting by Monica Garcia; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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