Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol suspended operations at its onshore field in Tibu, in the northeastern province of Norte de Santander, following two attacks on its infrastructure, the company announced Saturday.
The Tibu yields approximately 1,800 barrels of oil per day, Ecopetrol said in a statement.
According to the company, the first attack was launched around 4:40 p.m. local time (2140 GMT) Friday at the Tibu-50 well, in an area "where wells were being overhauled by the contracting company Key Energy."
The second occurred almost an hour later "when armed men arrived at the M-24 station and detonated explosives in the water-injection plant and in the fluid-treatment area."
"Ecopetrol slams attacks on oil infrastructure in the Ecopetrol's Tibu field," the company said in a communique, adding that those attacks "put the lives of workers and nearby communities at risk."
To deal with the situation, "the company activated its contingency plan" in the region where Tibu is located, an area with a strong presence of leftist guerrillas.
As a preventive measure, Ecopetrol suspended activities in that field "temporarily, until workers' safety can be guaranteed" by security forces, which on Friday strengthened their guard in the area.
The ELN rebel group is active there, and in the past few decades has perpetrated numerous attacks on oil infrastructure, but also present are fronts of the larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla insurgency.
On Thursday, in the inauguration speech for his second term, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos warned the FARC, with which his government is negotiating in Cuba the end of the conflict, that they should give up the attacks like those they have launched in recent weeks, mainly in the southern part of the country against energy infrastructure and services.
"Don't dynamite rural workers' roads! No more villages without electricity or water! No more oil contaminating our rivers!" the president said. EFE