Ecuador announced a 10-cent rollback on its fuel prices as it attempts to balance rising global energy resource prices and the local unrest that sparked from it.
“I have decided to reduce the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon and diesel also by 10 cents per gallon,” Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said on Sunday in a national address.
The continuing rise in fuel prices sparked the nearly two-week protest led by the country’s indigenous peoples. The demonstrations have crippled the oil production network, blocking roads in 19 of 24 provinces.
The announcement comes after Ecuador’s energy ministry warned that oil production had reached a “critical level” amid the massive protests. Around 14,000 protesters are estimated to have participated in the demonstrations.
“If this situation continues, the country’s oil production will be suspended in less than 48 hours as vandalism, the seizure of oil wells and road closures have prevented the transport of equipment and diesel needed to keep operations going,” Quito’s energy chief said.
The announcement also comes after the state’s lawmakers were considering a motion of no confidence for the president.
Oil production is Ecuador’s main export product, accounting for more than 30% of the country’s revenue.
The standoff between government authorities and protesters has so far left five people dead and around 500 injured.
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