Ecuador resumes oil exports curbed by protests

Quito (AFP) –


Ecuador on Sunday said it had resumed crude oil exports curbed by violent protests that forced several wells in the Amazon to halt operations.

The country was hit by 12 days of demonstrations, led by indigenous groups, against fuel price hikes until President Lenin Moreno reached a deal with protest leaders on October 13.

"Oil production has recovered, so the operation of the Trans-Ecuadorian Oil Pipeline System (SOTE) has been standardized," Petroecuador, the national oil company, said in a statement.

"All suspended exports will be rescheduled in the coming days."

The unrest in the capital Quito forced Moreno to relocate the government to the second city, Guayaquil.

More than two-thirds of crude distribution was frozen after protesters seized oil facilities in the Amazon nearly two weeks ago.

Moreno and indigenous leaders reached an agreement after the president pledged to withdraw subsidy cuts that had more than doubled fuel prices.

The cuts were part of an austerity package to obtain a $4.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to shore up the oil exporter's brittle economy.