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Spill from Venezuelan oil plant pollutes river

01 April 2015

Reports from local sources in mid-March say a significant leak from state-owned oil giant PDVSA’s Jusepín complex has polluted the Guarapiche River in northeastern Venezuela.
In February 2012 some 80,000 barrels‘ worth of oil spilled into the river within 20 hours. At the time, it was the worst oil slick Venezuela had seen in 74 years.

Stock image
Stock image

According to Panam Post, local residents claim that the contaminant looks exactly is crude oil, the same substance involved in the 2012 incident, but soldiers have blocked access to the plant and river preventing definite identification.

In a press release PDVSA stated that the leak was not crude oil, but “water treated for injection into the oil fields” at the Jusepín plant, used to generate secondary crude. According to the company, employees took immediate action to contain and extract the liquid from the river.

PDVSA indicated that the leak would not affect the Bajo Guarapiche water reclamation plant, located 40 kilometers away in Maturín, the capital of Monagas State. The plant supplies 80% of the water consumed in the city, which is home to approximately 400,000 residents.

State Governor Yelitze Santaella confirmed this version of the events via Twitter, reassuring residents that there would be no interruption in the city’s water service. Santaella told press that the incident occurred due to employees falling asleep.

The latest PDVSA environmental report reveals 10,660 spills took place in 2013, three times that recorded in 2012 (3,527). PDVSA faced 22 criminal proceedings over spills in 2013.


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