October 19, 2018 / 7:31 PM / a month ago

Gran Tierra oil pipeline in Colombia damaged by bomb: army

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A pipeline owned by Canadian oil company Gran Tierra Energy in southern Colombia was damaged on Friday by a bomb blast triggered by an unidentified armed group, an attack that caused a fire and oil spill, a senior military chief said.    

The attack took place in the rural area of ​​Villagarzon, in southern Putumayo near the border with Ecuador. The pipeline is used to transport oil from the Costayaco 11 oil well, army General Cesar Augusto Parra told Reuters.    

“There was criminal activity against Gran Tierra Energy. A line transporting crude was affected. The fire was extinguished and we are working to find the authors of this act,” Parra said without identifying the armed group.

Dissidents members of demobilized rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) operate in the area. The dissidents refused to adhere to a peace agreement signed in 2016 with the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos.

Gran Tierra, which has operations in Magdalena Medio and Putumayo and produces about 35,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Colombia’s oil infrastructure is often the target of attacks by leftist guerrillas and other armed groups.

    Colombia, which pumped an average of 854,121 bpd in 2017, has 1,782 million barrels of proven reserves of crude, equivalent to 5.7 years of consumption.

Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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