ASSESSMENTS

Protests Place Ecuador’s Oil Production in Peril

MIN READJun 29, 2022 | 21:20 GMT

Demonstrators carry makeshift shields during the tenth day of protests against the administration of Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on June 22, 2022, in Quito, Ecuador.

Demonstrators carry makeshift shields during the tenth day of protests against the administration of Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on June 22, 2022, in Quito, Ecuador.

(Jacome/Agencia Press South/Getty Images)

In Ecuador, nationwide protests risk disrupting oil production, potentially impeding the country’s economic growth and ability to mitigate its growing debt burden. Ecuador's state-owned energy company Petroecuador has suspended exports of Oriente crude, its most popular hydrocarbons export, as part of a force majeure issued on June 29. The announcement comes three days after Ecuador's energy ministry warned that the country could soon suspend all oil production amid ongoing anti-government protests led by the powerful activist group Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE). The Indigenous-led protests movement, which began on June 13, is calling on President Guillermo Lasso’s government to lower fuel prices and decrease unemployment, as well as halt the expansion of extractive industries (including oil and gas) due to their environmental impact on the country’s Indigenous communities. The demonstrations have since become increasingly widespread and violent, with protesters vandalizing oil infrastructure, blocking key roads used to transport...

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