Security & Strategic Review - March 2022

ECUADOR: Oil spill highlights erosion risks in pipeline system

Doubling Ecuador’s oil production over his four-year term has been a core policy of President Guillermo Lasso, who views his 1m barrel per day (bpd) production target as key to the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. However, a 28 January oil spill in Napo province’s Cayambe Coca national park again demonstrated recurring structural issues with the nation’s pumping infrastructure, which has been repeatedly damaged by soil erosion in recent years. With the oil spill having entered crucial biodiversity hotspots, Lasso is facing increasing pushback on his oil targets from environmental and indigenous groups.

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