Peru: Second oil spill in front of Repsol refinery

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AP
Washington Hispanic:

Peru confirmed on Wednesday that the day before there was a second spill of eight barrels of oil in the Pacific, in front of a coastal refinery managed by Spain’s Repsol.

The Spanish company later denied that a second oil spill had occurred and said that it was “a controlled outcrop of remnants of the spill on January 15.” He added in a statement that the number two multibuoy terminal has been inoperative since the first incident.

The environmental assessment and supervision body (OEFA) indicated that it will verify “responsibility for the events, the impact generated and the implementation of the contingency plan by the company.”

Later, the supervisory agency for compliance with the law of fuel companies (OSINERGMIN), confirmed that eight barrels of oil were spilled on the Pacific of Peru, one of the richest and most biodiverse seas in the world according to the United Nations.

OSINERGMIN indicated that the spill “was controlled by the containment barriers, absorbent elements and skimmer that were already in the area as a security measure.”

The spill occurred on Tuesday “when work was being carried out prior to the removal” of a team of “submarine collection and distribution that allow the passage of hydrocarbons for reception or dispatch,” according to the OEFA.

The agency added that “such withdrawal is necessary to determine the cause” of the first spill of around 6,000 barrels of oil that occurred on January 15, hours after an eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga.

The Navy detected the “oily stain in the vicinity of the multibuoy terminal” number two of the La Pampilla refinery, owned by Repsol. The terminal is offshore and allows oil tankers to be received and fuel to be transported through pipelines to the refinery located on land.

A week ago, Repsol also denied being responsible for what Peru considers the “worst ecological disaster” in recent times in Lima. Tine van den Wall Bake, Repsol spokeswoman in Lima, told RPP radio: “We did not cause the ecological disaster. I can’t tell you who is responsible.”

The first spill on the Peruvian Pacific coast in front of the La Pampilla refinery, managed by the Spanish company Repsol, pushed thousands of artisanal fishermen who extract resources from a sea with more than 700 species of fish and 800 of mollusks and crustaceans.

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