‘Deliberate action’ in Colombia ignites 2,600 bbls of crude, hinders firefighters’ efforts

BOGOTA – Ecopetrol and Cenit report that unidentified individuals deliberately set fire to four temporary crude oil retention pools containing 2,600 barrels of oil on the Las Acacias village in the Colombian municipality of Arauquita, Arauca.

Officials report that this “deliberate action puts communities and water bodies in the area at risk, and generates toxic gas pollution.”  Locks placed on facility gates are impeding emergency response efforts by firefighters and technical personnel.

The crude pools are part of the companies’ contingency plan to deal with repairs to the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline, where 25 attacks have occurred in 2019, of which 15 have been in Arauca. To repair the pipeline, technicians drain the oil by storing it in the affected section of the pipeline and temporarily store it in retention pools before it is safely transported by tank trucks.

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