As an investigation continues into massive oil leakage, Repsol SA local refinery managers are being threatened with expulsion by the authorities.
Peruvian prosecutors seek to block the president and three other executives at Repsol SAs local refinery from leaving Peru during an investigation into an oil leakage.
Repsol, according to the government, spilled approximately 6,000 barrels oil into the ocean near La Pampilla refinery last week after unusual waves were caused by a volcanic eruption in Tonga.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo described it as the worst ecological disaster that has struck South America in recent years. The damage was to more than 180 hectares (445 acre) which is equivalent to roughly 270 football fields of beach and 713 ha (1,762 acres).
Oily oil has landed on dead seals, birds, and fish. Fishing activities have been suspended in the area while a massive clean-up operation was underway involving hundreds of volunteers.
A judge will consider the request made by state prosecutors to the Repsol executives. This review will take place later on Thursday. The Reuters news agency reported that Repsol representatives in Peru weren’t immediately available for comment.
Hundreds of volunteers are working against the clock to clean up the beaches from the oil spillage from the Mare Doricum, an Italian-flagged tanker.
Repsol claimed that Peruvian authorities didn’t issue a tsunami warning, and that the ship was continuing unloading oil to the refinery at the time the waves hit.
Castillo stated last week that a committee would form to suggest ways of dealing the crisis in line with national policies that protect the environment.
Mirtha Vasquez, the Prime Minister, stated that Repsol had promised to deliver a cleaning program, to include local fishermen on the beach clean-up and to deliver food to affected families.
Hector Fernandez, a cleaner, stated that the situation was frustrating.
According to him, the contaminant is affecting the entire beach, affecting both tourists who come to enjoy the season and fishermen who have to work every day to make a living from sweat and fishing.
Peruvian authorities reported Tuesday that a second small oil leak occurred during work on an underground pipeline at the La Pampilla refinery. The company however denied it.
According to the Osinergmin supervisory agency, Peru’s environment ministry, an estimated eight barrels of crude oil were logged and brought under control. According to Navy Captain Jesus Menacho, the new leak was small.
Repsol denied that there was a new spillage, stating Wednesday in a statement that there was a controlled upwardwelling of remnants from the spillage of January 15, during work on infrastructure at 18 metres (60 feet).
As this upwelling was anticipated, the containment barriers, absorbent components, and skimmers were already in use in the area as a safety precaution. According to the company, this allowed for the control of hydrocarbons.