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Ecuador's OCP crude pipeline restarts after temporary shutdown

Credit: REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

Ecuador's heavy crude pipeline (OCP) restarted operations on Monday after a temporary closure over the weekend as a precautionary measure due to a new landslide in the country's Amazon region, operator OCP Ecuador said in a statement.

QUITO, July 20 (Reuters) - Ecuador's heavy crude pipeline (OCP) restarted operations on Monday after a temporary closure over the weekend as a precautionary measure due to a new landslide in the country's Amazon region, operator OCP Ecuador said in a statement.

In recent months, the privately-run pipeline as well as the state-run SOTE pipeline and a hydroelectric generator have had to suspend operations due to increased soil erosion in the upper Coca River basin. OCP in June finished construction of a temporary bypass as a precaution.

The pipeline, which has recently been transporting around 180,000 barrels per day of crude, halted operations on Saturday to prevent possible environmental damage due to a new wave of soil erosion.

The company said on Monday it restarted pumping after completing a technical evaluation. It did not rule out further temporary suspensions.

Ecuador's crude exports were not affected by the shutdown. When both OCP and SOTE burst in April due to a major landslide, the Andean nation was forced to declare force majeure on crude exports and reduce crude output.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia Writing by Luc Cohen Editing by Marguerita Choy)

((luc.cohen@thomsonreuters.com; +58 424 133 7696; Reuters Messaging: Twitter: @cohenluc))

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