Colombia seeks emergency fuel supply from Ecuador
Petroleumworld 03 19 2019
Colombia's government is seeking emergency fuel supplies from neighboring Ecuador to help cope with shortages in southwestern departments caused by an ongoing indigenous protest.
Colombia reached out to Ecuador's oil ministry and state-owned PetroEcuador to set up an extraordinary mechanism to provide at least 150,000 USG/d of diesel, 235,000 USG/d of gasoline and 140,000 USG/d of LPG for the next 10 days, Colombia's mines and energy ministry said this morning.
The protest that started on 12 March is blocking the Pan-American highway and other key arteries, affecting fuel and food supply in the Colombian departments of Cauca, Narino and Putumayo.
There was no immediate response from Ecuador on the fuel supply request. PetroEcuador´s main 110,000 b/d Esmeraldas refinery is currently undergoing a turnaround.
The Colombian ministry said the fuel supply from Ecuador is one of several measures aimed at alleviating the shortages. An effort is also underway to find larger capacity fuel tankers to supply the Pacific port of Tumaco in southern Colombia.
In addition, the ministry has authorized Ecopetrol to transport fuel to storage in Tumaco for wholesale distribution.
"As a result of the roadblocks in the southwest of the country, Ecopetrol is currently shipping fuel on the maritime route from Buenaventura port to Tumaco port in Narino," Ecopetrol told Argus , adding that it is awaiting word from Ecuador to bring in supply from there as well.
The indigenous protesters are seeking more government resources to support their communities. President Ivan Duque is calling for an end to the roadblocks and appointed four regional governors to serve as interlocutors with community leaders.
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