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Report: Venezuela oil spills have caused serious environmental damage for two years.
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Report: Venezuela oil spills have caused serious environmental damage for two years.

A large amount of crude oil has washed up on the shores following a September crude oil spillage from a pipeline linking production areas with the Paraguana Refining Center in Punta Cardon (Venezuela), October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

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CARACAS, February 16 (Reuters) – Constant oil leakages in Venezuela between 2020-2021 have caused severe damage to the environment, the country’s science academy stated Wednesday. It also asked for the state oil company PDVSA.UL to carry out clean-up operations.

According to the Venezuelan Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, at least nine oil spillages have occurred over the past two years. This includes 26,730 barrels of crude oil in July last, which polluted Morrocoy National Park, located on Venezuela’s northwest coast.

The report stated that hydrocarbon leakages and the release of oil industry waste occur with greater frequency along the coast. It also noted that these incidents can harm the environment and cause death to marine life.

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According to the Academy, PDVSA and the oil minister of the country were given a copy. Reuters did not reach out to PDVSA or the oil minister for comment.

Spills of refined products (e.g. gasoline) are more harmful than oil spills, according to investigators. They also stated that the oil industry had the responsibility for mitigating or reducing such incidents.

The Academy stated that only a few cases required the use of barriers and other measures to contain spills. Beaches were cleaned manually and without any machinery.

The report stated that the PDVSA contingency plan, which encourages the use of vessels to deploy containment barriers and the use of skimmers for the collection spilled hydrocarbon, has not been effectively applied over the past 20 years.

The spillages have also affected mangroves, and sections of the coast around Lake Maracaibo. This area is in Venezuela’s Zulia State and is home of many oil wells. Continue reading

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Reporting by DeisyBuitrago
Oliver Griffin, writer
Editing by Marguerita Chuy

Our Standards The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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