Repsol Affirms that the Peruvian Sea and Beaches Affected by the 2022 Spill are Suitable

Spanish oil company Repsol questions Peru's claim about the impact of the ongoing crude oil spill, claiming safe conditions for fishing and recreation on affected beaches.

Workers cleaning beaches in La Pampilla, Peru

Photo: RCR Peru


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Leer en español: Repsol afirma que el mar y playas peruanas afectadas por derrame de 2022 están aptos

Repsol responds to statements by the Peruvian Executive about conditions on beaches affected by the spill

The Spanish company Repsol affirmed this Sunday that the Peruvian sea and beaches affected by an oil spill in 2022 have, for months, had conditions suitable for fishing and recreational activities, in response to a statement from the Peruvian Executive that declared the contrary.

The company that operates the La Pampilla refinery, north of Lima, pointed out that the statement from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, released on Saturday, has "inaccurate and outdated" information that represents " an institutional outrage in the face of the inaction of the different authorities".

Pollution data according to Repsol

The oil firm added that "it is unheard of that the authorities cite an analysis from August of this year carried out on a single beach, as an alleged argument of contamination" when there is another from September that "clearly indicates that all Ventanilla beaches comply with the standards." of environmental quality for water and beach".

The statement added that "it is striking that the same public entities ignore the 8 official reports from OEFA (the Environmental Assessment and Supervision Agency) and the 3 reports carried out by the National Water Authority, all published in 2023, which reaffirm the conditions suitable for the sea.

He warned that actions of this type "seriously harm the productive sectors of the area and delay the reactivation of the economy, irresponsibly affecting" thousands of entrepreneurs on 25 beaches and thousands of artisanal fishermen, in a context of recession and El Niño phenomenon.

Impact on the local economy and accusations of sabotage

The company reported that it suffers continuous attempts at sabotage, reported to the authorities, and that include the appearance of alleged 'oil stains' on the Cavero, Delfines, and Chancay beaches, but that it has been proven, scientifically and independently, that "they had no relationship with activities of the La Pampilla Refinery."

In that sense, he specified that up to 122 hydrocarbon finds have been analyzed in the area and it has been shown that none are related to the spill that occurred in January 2022.

"These come from fishing vessels, industrial drains, and probable acts of sabotage," he noted.

He recalled that the company has allocated more than 1,000 million soles (267 million dollars) for cleaning, remediation, and social compensation tasks for some 10,000 people, including merchants and artisanal fishermen.

The oil spill occurred on January 15, 2022, at multi-buoy terminal number 2 of the La Pampilla refinery (RELAPASAA), in the Ventanilla district, when a ship was preparing to unload hydrocarbons at the refinery.

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Government statement and environmental evaluation

A statement from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers reported, on Saturday, that, based on the results of the evaluation, "there is no conclusive evidence to indicate that the area affected by the spill is free of the presence of oil.".

Therefore, "the conditions are not available for the normal development of extractive activities of hydrobiological resources related to artisanal fishing," he noted.

The evaluation was carried out by the Peruvian Sea Institute (Imarpe), between June 12 and 26, in 90 sampling stations, on the coastline and in front of the coastal edge.

In addition, he reported that the General Directorate of Environmental Health and Food Safety (Digesa) of the Ministry of Health, revealed on November 17 that, of the 30 bathing and recreational beaches impacted by the spill, "25 are still in a safe condition." affected".

The Executive detailed that, according to the results of the quality environmental studies, carried out between March and October 2022, it was verified that the first response actions carried out by the La Pampilla refinery on the beaches affected by the spill "were not efficient.".

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