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Oceana on oil spill: “Rarely can more than 25% of the total spilled crude be collected”

Lima, February 16, 2022Updated on 02/16/2022 01:47 pm

The scientific director of the Oceana organization, Juan Carlos Riveros, spoke this Wednesday about the ecological disaster caused by the oil spill at the La Pampilla refinery, operated by Repsol, on January 15, and pointed out that in his experience “rare time more than 25% of the total spilled crude oil can be collected”.

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Our experience in other spills indicates that it is rarely possible to collect more than 25% of the total oil spilled, and among the 25% that has evaporated, there is still the 50% that is in the ocean water column, whether it is broken down into molecules that end up in algae, plankton or on the seabed, ingested by animals, in mollusks”, he pointed out in statements to Efe.

In addition, he added that the Estimated recovery time of the medium is between six and ten years. Riveros also considered that only then will there be “a relatively healthy environment in terms of biodiversity,” although the period will be shorter for public use, since “the beaches will be accessible and the fishermen will resume their work next summer.”


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While, experts agree that the impact on the ecosystem at the moment is highbut they emphasize that after the cleaning and rescue tasks -which will end soon- a second stage will begin, long, complex, less photogenic.

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“We have done a lot of recovery work, but only from what can be seen, there is a lot of space that we have not covered, a fairly large task is coming and there is a lot of work and study to do now “said David Orosco, the head of the Ancón Reserved Zone, which manages the Sernanp.

He explained that this study will include an arduous task of monitoring and constant counting of various markers, such as the composition of water or the monitoring of bird communities. In addition, it will be key to determining the real impact of the accident. But before beginning this stage, the exact state of the ecosystem must be known.


Repsol announced this Tuesday that the cleaning operation is already at 76%so it will soon complete the tasks at sea and at the end of this month on the affected beaches.

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Repsol promises to finish cleaning up oil spill on the coast in March
The Spanish oil company Repsol promised this Thursday to finish in March the cleaning of the central coast of Peru, affected by a spill in the sea of ​​almost 12,000 barrels of crude oil, on January 15. (Source: AFP)


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