Canadian oil company Frontera Energy said on Dec. 3 it had stopped production at Peru’s largest oil field after a Peruvian-owned pipeline was severed last week by indigenous protesters.
Frontera Energy said in a statement that production at the oil field, located 200 km (124 miles) from the pipeline rupture, would stop while authorities worked to resolve the dispute with the community.
State-owned oil company Petroperu, which operates the pipeline, flagged on Nov. 30 that Frontera may be forced to halt production, and estimated that losses could amount to around $200,000 per day.
Last week, a group of residents in an Amazon region inhabited by the indigenous Mayuriaga community severed the pipeline and then prevented technicians from repairing it, according to Petroperu.
Frontera said that the company expects to restart operations “shortly” after the pipeline is repaired. Recent net production at the oil field has averaged 8,950 barrels per day (bbl/d).
Petroperu estimates that the rupture may have caused some 8,000 bbl of oil to spill, although the company said that oil has not contaminated water sources in the area. The company has shut off crude oil from flowing through the pipeline.
Frontera Energy temporarily operates lot 192, a production site which is located in the Amazon region of Loreto and has around 100 MMbbl in reserves. The company’s contract expires in March 2019.
The 1,100 km pipeline that transports crude from the oil fields of the Peruvian jungle to the Petroperu refinery on the Pacific coast has suffered dozens of attacks since it began operating four decades ago.
Since 2016, nearly 20,000 bbl of oil have been spilled from the pipeline in at least 15 attacks, and another 5,600 bbl have leaked due to corrosion of mechanical failures, according to official estimates.