On Thursday, July 20, the government announced that at least 1,200 barrels of crude oil had spilled onto a tourist beach in northwest Ecuador due to a leak at an oil terminal.
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at least “1,200 barrels of light crude (spilled) over four linear kilometers from the point where the Palau terminal is situated.” Of the Petroecuador public company, Environment Minister José Antonio Davalos referred to the Equavisa chain.
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The leak occurred around 4:30 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. Paris time) on Wednesday. This Thursday, the beach has been almost completely cleaned. Floating booms have been installed to contain the crude oil spilling into the sea.
Many marine animals were affected
Pictures released by the armed forces show a long oil slick partially covering this beach in Esmeraldas province. “Lots of crabs, fish and birds are probably affected.”The Minister of Environment denounced it, adding that the oil company should compensate the fishermen affected by the pollution.
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By decision of the city of Esmeralda, the beach is closed to ensure the safety of visitors. The contained spill occurred “reservoir surplus”Rafael Armenarez, Director of Transportation for Petroecuador, explained during a press conference.
Petroecuador oil company has opened an investigation to determine the causes of the leak. “We do not rule out any hypothesis whether it is a mechanical failure, operational problem, negligence or even sabotage”said Ramon Correa, General Manager of Petroecuador.