World

Peru State Energy Company Confirms Fresh Oil Spill

The office building Petroleos del Peru (Petroperu) a state company dedicated to the refining, distribution and marketing of fuels is seen at the district of San Isidro in Lima, April 7, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Mariana Bazo

The office building Petroleos del Peru (Petroperu) a state company dedicated to the refining, distribution and marketing of fuels is seen at the district of San Isidro in Lima, April 7, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Mariana Bazo

Lima: A fresh oil spill in the Peruvian Amazon was detected from the country’s four-decades-old pipeline on Thursday, operator Petroperu said, bringing the number of leaks this year to four.

Petroperu, the country’s state-owned energy company, did not provide an estimate for how much oil was released and said emergency workers were implementing a contingency plan.

The latest spill, in a ravine in the province of Condorcanqui, could heap more pressure on President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to pass reforms to prevent future leaks.

The 1,106-kilometre pipeline was shuttered for repairs in February after two spills leaked 3000 barrels that polluted rivers and prompted an indigenous community to hold Petroperu officials hostage to press for aid.

The then-energy and mines minister said in June that the third spill occurred as Petroperu was illegally pumping crude through the pipeline, which led to the ousting of the president of Petroperu and a $3.5 million fine.

It is unclear how the fourth spill occurred.

The new energy and mines minister, Gonzalo Tamayo, said this week that the pipeline would likely remain shuttered for at least a year.

Peru’s relatively small oil production has dropped to about 37,000 barrels per day since the pipeline closed, as output from oil blocks 192 and 67 has stopped completely.

There have been 23 ruptures in the pipeline since 2011, according to the ombudsman’s office.