Peruvian Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez said Monday that the government would temporarily suspend offshore oil unloading operations at Repsol following a spill of more than 10,000 barrels that caused widespread environmental damage.
Ramirez said the outage would continue until the company “can provide a technical guarantee that the next spill will not occur.”
“In addition, (the company) does not show a clear cleaning activity.”
In a statement, Repsol considers the decision to be “disproportionate and unreasonable,” and the company “makes every effort to avoid the risk of a shortage of essential products.”
Repsol’s La Pampira refinery is the largest in Peru, and the company said it occupies 40% of Peru’s fuel market.
Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez, who resigned from https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peru-president-castillo-replace-cabinet-moderate-pm-2022-01-31 on Monday, said he was in power. He was working on an international lawsuit against Repsol over “the seriousness of environmental disasters.”
“I hope this continues,” she said on Twitter.
Repsol states that 35% of the spilled oil has already been recovered, but the purification process will not be completed until late February.
The spill occurred on January 15 in the Pacific Ocean off Lima. The company blamed the extraordinary waves caused by the eruption of a volcano in Tonga thousands of miles away.
Spanish companies are facing widespread opposition to the spill, and Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has called it the biggest environmental disaster affecting the country in recent years.
Prosecutors are considering criminal charges against executives over the spill and have successfully petitioned the judge to ban four people, including the company’s president, from leaving Peru for the next 18 months.
The Peruvian government said the spill involved 11,900 barrels of oil, but the company said the number was 10,396 barrels, less.
(Report by Marcelo Rochabrun, edited by Cynthia Osterman and Chris Reese)
https://www.oedigital.com/news/493948-repsol-s-offshore-oil-unloading-ops-banned-in-peru-after-oil-spill Offshore oil unloading work of Repsol prohibited in Peru