Quito ( Associated Press) – Ecuador’s oil infrastructure will have to cripple its activities in a week if the seizure of wells in the Amazon and the blocking of highways by indigenous protesters continues, Energy and Mines Minister Javier Vera said Friday. ,
In a statement to the Associated Press, Vera said that if the conflict continues “I think by the end of next week” there will no longer be production and specified that 1,086 wells are not operational, 900 of them from the state company Petrocuador. and 106 from private companies. , especially in the provinces of Orellana, Sucumbios, Pasta and Napo.
Ecuador has a total of 2,220 oil wells in production, 1,600 from PetroEcuador and 620 from private companies, and oil is the main export product and the largest source of income from the fiscal box with a contribution of about 30%.
The minister assured that the intermittent and violent siege of indigenous groups at the facilities had caused $73 million in damages.
Due to the protests, the government was forced to declare a state of coercion in oil activity to protect itself from possible lawsuits and fines for non-compliance with crude oil deliveries.
Regarding the supply of fuel, Vera said that nine out of 24 provinces are facing problems in the supply of petrol and gas for domestic use, as it is impossible for tankers to reach their destination due to constraints.
About two weeks ago, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities, the largest of its kind, called for a national strike, demanding that President Guillermo Lasso’s government cut the price of gasoline from $2.55 to $2.10 a gallon, a measure of agriculture. Fixing prices by decree for products and a bigger budget for health and education, among other demands.
Protests have included near-permanent blockades of main highways and violent demonstrations, particularly in Quito, in which at least three protesters were killed and dozens injured between indigenous peoples and both the police and the military.
When asked about the status of industrial mining, which has two large mines in production, Vera explained that they have suspended their production due to road closures “but smaller mining also estimated losses of $12 million.” Is.”
To the protesters’ alleged threats to power generation infrastructure, he replied that “Based on intelligence data, we are making estimates and coordinating so that the electricity infrastructure in the country is safe.”
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