Peru reopens crude oil pipeline after a year of closures

LIMA – A crude oil pipeline operated by Peru’s state owned oil company Petroperu has became fully operational following repairs on a series of ruptures that had partially shuttered it for more than a year.

The reopening of a final section of the 687 mile (1106 km) pipeline allows Petroperu to replace river and ground transportation that had been used as alternatives for moving crude from Amazonian oilfields to the Pacific Coast.

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The pipeline transported less than 15,000 babpd of oil before the spills, but its closure has been a drag on economic growth as it has halted some production.

The resumption of the pipeline’s operations come as global oil prices are recovering and could bolster drilling plans in Peru, a relatively small producer of crude where output has slipped for years, according to World Pipelines.

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Petroperu has reported more than a dozen ruptures in the ageing pipeline in the Amazon since the start of 2016, including at least two this month that it blamed on attacks by unknown vandals.

The spills have polluted rivers that indigenous communities once used for drinking water and disrupted the operations of private oil firms Frontera Energy Corp, Perenco and Pluspetrol.