OCP-Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline, Ecuador

In spite of the locals' strong opposition and a global campaigning, the OCP is operating since 2003, causing numerous oil spills along its way


A project for the construction of the OCP (Oleoducto de crudos pesados or heavy crude oil pipeline) was submitted in 2000 to the Ministry of Energy and Mining, and envisaged a pipeline that cut across Ecuador lengthwise for 503 km (312 miles), crossing the Amazon jungle, the Andes, numerous natural reserves and ending on the Pacific coast. An alternative trail of the pipeline, parallel to the already existing SOTE pipeline was proposed but denied by the OCP Ldt. Consortium. Since the pipeline's capacities are underused for Ecuatorian crude oil, Colombia started to use it in 2013 for the exportation of its own crude oil from the port Esmeraldas. In order to make this possible it was necessary to connect Lago Agrio station (connected to the Colombian grid) and the OCP station Amazonas [1]. Such infrastructure costed more than US$8 million.

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Basic Data
NameOCP-Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline, Ecuador
ProvincePichincha, Sucumbios, Napo, Esmeraldas Regions
SiteLago Agrio, Esmeraldas and Calderon (Quito)
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project cut through Ecuador from an altitude of 300 meters in the Amazon to over 4,000 meters through the Andean ridge and down to sea level. The pipeline traverses seven national parks and protected areas [1] and is 506 km long.

Oil pipeline was expected to handle 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day, compared to the average national daily extraction of 350,000 barrels. The oil passing through the pipeline is exported to the United States, the Caribbean and Asia.
Project Area (in hectares)50300
Level of Investment (in USD)1,400,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date10/2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesEnte Nazionale Idrocarburi (Eni) from Italy
OCP Ecuador Ldt. from Ecuador - http://ocpecuador.com/
Alberta Energy from Canada
Techint - Saneamiento y Urbanización S.A. (SYUSA) from Italy - http://www.techint.com/
Agip Group from Italy
Perez Companc from Argentina
William Corporation - the company dropped its bid for an alternate pipeline in 2000
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) from United States of America - www.oxy.com
Kerr-McGee Corp. from United States of America
FLOPEC from Ecuador
Repsol YPF from Spain
Pecom Energia from Argentina
EnCana Corp from Canada
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Mines and Petroleum, Ministry of the Environment, Secretaría Nacional de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador
International and Financial InstitutionsWestdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) from Germany
Chase Manhattan Bank from United States of America
BNL from Italy
Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro from Italy
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAccion Ecolgica - Ecuador, CONAIE - Ecuador, Greenpeace, Accion por la Vida - Ecuador, Sindicato Petroecuador de Ingenieros y Profesionales - Ecuador, Community of Lago Agrio - Ecuador, Community of Esmeraldas - Ecuador, Communities of Guarumos, Puerto Quito, San Miguel de Los Bancos, Nono, Gonzal Pizarro - Ecuador, The Least Impact Route Committee - Ecuador, National Network of those Affected by the OCP Construction - Ecuador, Farmers Association of the Communities of Pichincha, Napo ed Esmeraldas - Ecuador, A Sud - Italy, Friends of Earth - USA, Amazon Watch - USA, Rete Lilliput, Ya Basta - Italy, Terra Nuova - Italy, Il Manifesto - Italy, Carta - Italy, Green Party - Italy, Oilwatch - Nigeria
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Development of AlternativesTo stop the operations of the pipeline considering the harm caused to the society and the environment.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.In spite of all the national and international movement made against this installation, this one still went on and is actually operating damaging the evironment and causing social and environmental injustice.
Sources and Materials

Ecuadorian Constitution

World Bank regulations


Mushuk Allpa - La experiencia de los indigenas de Pastaza en la conservacion de la Selva Amazonica. Charvet, Erika Silva. Fundacion Instituo Amazanga. 2003
[click to view]

Conflictos socio-ambientales en el Ecuador. Granda, Alicia. Accion Ecologica. 2001
[click to view]

Pastaza Runakuna Tantanakuy. Organizacion de los pueblos indigenas de Pastaza. 2001
[click to view]

Las verdades de AGIP-ENI OIL en la Amazonia ecuatoriana. Accion Ecologica. 2005
[click to view]

Marea Negra en la Amazonia. Autori Vari. Abya-yala. 1995

Informe especial: La ARCO en el Ecuador. Los pueblos Shuar y Achuar una nueva batalla por la soberania. Accion Ecologica. 1999
[click to view]

Cancer en la Amazonia del Ecuador. Hurting, Anna-Karin; San Sebastian, Miguel. Abya-yala. 2002

Petroleo y sociedad. Historia de una riqueza. Comite de empresa de los trabajadores de petroecuador. 1998
[click to view]

Los encadenados del oleoducto. Narvez Quinez, Ivn; Galarza Bastidas, Ramiro; Villavicencio Valencia, Fernando; Ortiz Cevallos, Miguel. Federacion de trabajadores petroleros. 1996
[click to view]

Il sangue della terra. Atlante geografico del petrolio. A Sud. Derive-Approdi. 2006
[click to view]

Atlas amazonico de Ecuador, resistencia y agresiones. Accion Ecologica-CONAIE. 2006
[click to view]

OCP: Independent Compliance Assessment of OCP with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Policies, Robert Goodman, 2002
[click to view]

El nuevo oleoducto de crudos pesados en Ecuador, Amazon Watch, June 2001
[click to view]


Crudo colombiano del Putumayo se transportará por un oleoducto del Ecuador, 23/08/2013
[click to view]

Colombia transportará crudo por oleoducto ecuatoriano, 11/08/2011
[click to view]

OCP Ecuador Official website
[click to view]

Controlada la rotura en el oleoducto de crudos pesados, 5.500 barriles se derramaron, 08/04/2013
[click to view]

Ecologists protest against OCP
[click to view]

¿Por qué hay un derrame petrolero por semana en Ecuador?, I. Gil, BBC Mundo, 13/06/2013
[click to view]

[2] La Tierra sangra desde hace cuatro décadas en el Ecuador, Una cronología de los derrames de petróleo en el país de 1972 a 2014, V. Aumala, 29/09/2014
[click to view]

[1] OCP Pipeline to transport crude oil from Colombia
[click to view]

Oleoducto de crudos pesados.
[click to view]

Media Links

Oleoducto, contaminación y pobreza, 2002. Full Movie : Amazon Oil Pipeline-Pollution, Corruption and Poverty
[click to view]

Other Documents

OCP Pipeline under construction italy.indymedia.org
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl
Last update08/01/2016