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Despite Peace Talks, Colombia’s Oil Industry Increasingly Under Attack

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013

With peace talks engaged for the first time in a decade, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) at its weakest point in history, Colombia’s once-stifled oil and mining sectors have taken off, enabling oil production to reach a record of 1 million barrels per day in late-December. Yet the extractive industry has found itself increasingly targeted by the FARC and other rebels who are seeking to force concessions from the government, putting foreign investment, now at all-time highs, at risk.

The FARC are suspected in the bombing of a gas pipeline in La Guajira in Northeastern Colombia on Friday. The attack came days after the leftist rebel group destroyed sections of two oil pipelines and planted a bomb on a railway owned by the country's largest coal exporter, Cerrejón, a joint venture of BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Anglo American. ...

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