In 15 years, our oil traveled by boat 1,500 times

  • Oil transported by OCP Ecuador since its start of operations in 2003
  • Over 805 million barrels of crude oil loaded on these 1,500 tankers
  • OCP’s operation has resulted in an increase in the export of crude oil for the country of over 50%

Quito, July 24, 2018.- The Ecuadorian Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados -OCP Ecuador) announced the loading of the tanker number 1,500 on July 24. The tanker Aqualiberty, flying a Liberian (Africa) flag, is headed for the United States and is carrying some 325 thousand barrels of NAPO crude oil. 

As of 2003 (the year in which OCP began its operations), over 805 million barrels have been loaded in tankers by the pipeline’s operator for export, enabling the country to generate 45 billion dollars in revenue.

According to Andres Mendizabal, CEO of OCP Ecuador S.A., “Our customers benefit from economies of scale and are strategic partners that benefit from the characteristics of our infrastructure.”

“We have been transporting oil —the single most important strategic resource for the country’s development— responsibly for 15 years. Our transport and loading capabilities allow the Ecuadorian and Colombian oil to reach international markets”, Mendizabal added.

The loading process begins with the arrival of the crude oil, transported from Lago Agrio by way of a 485 kilometer-long pipeline, to the seaport in Esmeraldas. Tanker loading time ranges between 20 and 72 hours, depending on factors such as the size of the vessel and the number of barrels. 

The OCP can transport up to 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily and can store up to 1,200,000 barrels of oil in Lago Agrio and 3,750,000 barrels of oil in Esmeraldas. 

Media liaison

Ligia Cueva 

Mobile: 09959375 84 



The loading process begins once the tanker arrives in Esmeraldas where it issues a notice that it is ready to begin loading at our terminal. After that, it begins its approach maneuver and is moored to OCP’s buoy.

Three tugs, a small motor boat, and fiberglass for divers are used in the operation of approaching the buoy. Once the maritime pilot boards the tanker, the approach from the anchoring site to the buoy begins —this maneuver takes approximately one hour. 

During this process the tanker is fastened to the buoy with a 55 meter-long line with an 11 meter-long chain on one end. This chain is hoisted up to the tanker and is fastened to a lock on the prow of the ship. Once the ship is fastened to the buoy, the floating hoses are connected to the tanker’s valves —this takes approximately one hour.

Once the hoses have been connected, and the onboard tanker valves, tanker valve manifold, buoy valves and flow control valves —managed from the ground control room— have been opened, loading begins. The loading volume capacity of the tankers at OCP’s maritime terminal ranges from 250,000 to 2,000,000 barrels.  

The time it takes to load the ship depends on the size of the vessel and the load to be shipped. Loading a tanker takes anywhere between 20 and 72 hours. 


On Friday, September 5, 2003, the tanker Cabo Virgenes was loaded. The procedure took 19 hours and 400,000 barrels were loaded on this vessel.