News Desk (AFP).
Callao, Peru ●
Fri, February 4, 2022
Repsol, a Spanish energy company, has pledged to end the devastating oil spillage that has killed wildlife and polluted beaches by March.
Nearly 12,000 barrels crude oil were dumped into the sea off Peru by a tanker that unloaded oil at a Repsol-owned refinery.
Jose Terol, Repsol’s environmental security chief, said to reporters that they expect that, if the weather permits, the beach cleaning and island clearing will be completed in mid-March.
He did warn, however that it would take some time to clean up cliffs and other rocks that are difficult or impossible to reach.
“By mid February, there will be no more slicks on the sea. Terol stated that it is possible to expect that work on the areas most difficult to access will be completed by March.
Peru’s government described Repsol’s spillage, which Repsol blamed for freak waves that occurred more than 10,000 km away from Tonga, as an “ecological catastrophe.”
Prosecutors claim that the oil slick was dragged by the ocean currents 140 kilometers north from the refinery. This caused the death of undetermined numbers of fish and seabirds.
Repsol has been asked to compensate Peru, and Repsol could face a $34.5 million fine, according to the Environment Ministry.
Even as the Repsol spokesperson spoke, protesters from Ancon, a hard-hit beach town nearby, gathered with signs outside the plant and demanded that they be heard.
“Repsol accept liability” and “Repsol killer, the beaches at Ancon are in mourning”, were two of their signs.
Miguel Basurto (53-year-old motorcycle taxi driver) said that protests were being made because “the oil spillage has left us without work due to this contamination of the sea of Ancon.”
We are outraged that Repsol has no support for us. They get rid of it and leave us with all the pollution that affects the elderly and children,” Ana Garrido (40), said.
Repsol allowed journalists to visit its La Pampilla refinery for the first time since the spillage. This was to see how the 90 specialists are handling the 3,000 cleanup workers.