General Guillermo Rodrigues Lara, the President of Ecuador, inaugurated the new trans-Andean pipeline at a ceremony at the town of Puerto Balao.
LV PAN..Puerto Balao site
GV & SV Official party with President Rodriguez Lara in blue uniform (2 shots)
SV PAN..Guard of honour
GV Official party up to pipeline
SV Priest blessing pipeline (Archbishop)
SV President Lara opening valve with oil officially and saluting
SV Rodriguez Lara down steps
SV Crowd (2 shots)
SV President Lara filling barrel with oil
CU Soldier tilt down to barrel
GV Crowds at site
Initials ES.1555 ES. 1605
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Background: General Guillermo Rodrigues Lara, the President of Ecuador, inaugurated the new trans-Andean pipeline at a ceremony at the town of Puerto Balao. The 313-mile (approximately 500 kms) pipeline will bring crude oil from the Amazonian jungle to the Pacific port of Puerto Balao, transforming Ecuador into a major oil-producing country -- reportedly second only to Venezuela.
At the ceremony, General Rodriguez Lara opened the valve and filled a barrel with the first oil to come through. The barrel will eventually be given to a military college where it will remain as a memento of the occasion.
The line, which reaches a height of 13,000 feet (about 4,500 metres) as it crosses the mountains, has a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day and was constructed for Texaco and Gulf on whose concessions the oil was first struck. It cost 150 million Dollars (about 60 million Pounds Sterling) to build.
Exports are expected to start early in August and the state oil company, which was established last year, hopes to build a refinery in 1974. Ecuador's military government also has hopes of eventually building a petro-chemical industry.