The Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline
The Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline System (OCP in Spanish) carries oil from the village Lago Agrio (« Sour lake »), situated in the heart of the Amazonian jungle, to the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Built during the 1970s, this huge pipe in the open air, rusted and cracked on some parts, is a 550 kilometers long pipeline. Millions of liters of oil have leaked into the Amazon rainforest during the past decades, harming its unique ecosystem. Oil companies are suspected to dump oil waste products in hidden pools around Lago Agrio – they may be more than 800. Most of the villagers of Lago Agrio are trapped in a dependency relationship with the pipelines and its owners. Poor farmers get a stable income working for the national oil company Petroecuador, but the poorly maintained pipelines (previously owned by Texaco) leak oil onto their land. Crops are destroyed and the drinking water polluted. Should the farmers complain they are faced with threats and loosing their jobs.
Photos by Nicolas Wormull.