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PetroEcuador President Pareja Is Fired After Protests

(Bloomberg) — Ecuador removed the president of the state-owned oil company after protests in the Amazon region shut down some production.

PetroEcuador President Carlos Pareja was fired today and will be replaced by Fernando Zurita, a navy admiral, the government said in a statement. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency for the company.

Protesters demanding jobs, better roads and environmental cleanup forced the company to shut 32 oil wells at the Auca and Cononaco fields this week, trimming 20 percent of production at the company’s biggest unit. Ecuador is South America’s fifth- largest oil producer, with average daily output of 500,000 barrels.

Ecuador is set to officially rejoin the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Dec. 5 after a 15-year absence from the group.

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