Venezuela oil giant says 80 percent of oil spill cleaned up

Dec 29, 2023 | Entertainment, News

More than 80 percent of the spill at Venezuela's El Palito oil refinery has been cleaned up, officials say
More than 80 percent of the spill at Venezuela’s El Palito oil refinery has been cleaned up, officials say.
Photo: Juan Carlos HERNANDEZ / AFP
Source: AFP

Venezuela’s state oil company said Thursday that an oil spill at a refinery on the country’s western coastline was no longer “active” and that more than 80 percent of the affected area had been cleaned up.

Wednesday’s spill at the El Palito facility in the northwestern state of Carabobo occurred when heavy rainfall caused fluids to overflow from lagoons at the site, PDVSA said on social media platform X.

“It is important to clarify that it is not heavy crude oil, but a discharge of hydrocarbons, wastewater or effluents that were directed to the coastal marine environment,” the company said.

“At this time there is no active source of spillage, there is no rupture of pipeline or system,” it went on, adding that the “situation is being controlled by highly trained personnel under current safety protocols.”

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The spill sloshed tarry ooze onto beaches, affecting several seaside resorts and causing environmental groups and fishermen to sound the alarm.

Work was under way Wednesday to clean up the spill.

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The last oil spill recorded in the area was in July 2020, when waste from the same refinery flowed into the sea.

That accident contaminated Morrocoy National Park, a tourist area with a score of islets with white sand beaches.

Venezuela, which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, saw its production fall from 3 million barrels per day more than a decade ago to 850,000 barrels per day now, with production expected to surpass 1 million barrels later next year.

Source: AFP

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