A rise in rebels attacks on oil pipelines hasn’t hurt production in a significant way, the Colombian Minister for Energy and Mines Federico Renjifo said in an interview.
The use of drones and a dedicated battalion of soldiers is part of the government’s strategy to protect the oil infrastructure, Renjifo said on the sidelines of the Conference of Montreal.
“Yes there are more attacks than last year but production hasn’t been affected as much - repercussions have been smaller,” Renjifo said. “We have an entire battalion of 4,000 or 5,000 men that’s deployed to the protection of hydrocarbons production. We also have drones and other means at our disposal.”
The country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, ended a unilateral cease-fire in January, stepping up attacks on oil pipelines in a bid to strengthen its hand during peace talks with the Colombian government, currently under way in Havana.
Renjifo said the new Bicentenario pipeline will be completed in July or August and that a study is being conducted for an additional pipeline leading to the Pacific Coast.
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