Pipeline Fire Ignited by Gas Leak Leaves Five Injured in Ecuador

(Reuters) — Ecuadorean state oil company Petroecuador said on Thursday five people were injured in a fire caused by a leak in a pipeline that carries gas to a refinery in the South American country's Amazon region.

The incident occurred early on Thursday in Bellavista, near the Andean country's important Libertador oil block and Shushufindi refinery, which has a processing capacity of 20,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).

In a statement, Petroecuador said its technical teams detected a leak in the pipeline that runs from its Secoya intake station to the Shushufindi refinery, in the Amazonian province of Sucumbios.

The fire was sparked when a community resident turned on his car near the pipeline. Petroecuador said the leak was already under control.

However, Petroecuador asked families living in the area not to turn on vehicles or light devices as a precautionary measure, citing a "potential risk due to the presence of gas in the environment."

Petroecuador faced another incident over the weekend at its "ITT" oil block due to a failure in the facility's power generator system, hitting its daily production level.

Official data puts Petroecuador's production at around 380,000 bbl/d on Wednesday.

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