Ecuadorean officials say troops have been sent to reinforce security at oil wells in a move to crush protests that have paralyzed oil exports.

A report from Quito by Reuters says the forces have also taken control of government buildings in two Amazon provinces to stop the protests.

Earlier, security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the province of Sucumbios, forcing the state-owned oil company, Petroecuador to suspend production and exports.

Ecuador's daily oil exports of nearly 150,000 barrels each day have been completely stopped. Most of the exports go to the United States.

Demonstrators seized 200 oil facilities and airports in the Lago Agrio and El Coca provinces and are demanding new contract negotiations with foreign oil firms, along with increased spending on infrastructure and social programs.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.