QUITO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's state oil company, Petroecuador, announced on Wednesday the activation of the force majeure clause for export of crude oil as the spread of the nationwide indigenous protests hurts oil output.
Petroecuador said in a statement that oil production has been affected by road blockades and attempts of sabotage in the company's oilfields in the eastern Amazon region.
The company said it will notify the contractors of resumption of normal operations and reschedule shipments once the force majeure is overcome.
Petroecuador will suspend shipment of 5.7 million barrels scheduled for the first days of the coming July, according to the company's International Trade Management Department.
The country's Energy Regulation and Control Agency reported that as of June 28, Petroecuador could manage to produce 184,828 barrels per day, a drop of 47 percent from that on June 12, one day before the indigenous protests began.
The Ecuadoran Ministry of Energy and Mines said on Sunday that oil production in this Southern American country "is at critical levels" after plummeting by more than half due to road blockades and acts of vandalism.
In more than two weeks of indigenous protest, Ecuador has reported a decrease in oil production by 1.8 million barrels with Petroecuador being the most affected, according to official data. ■