Peru oil spill after Tonga eruption, an “ecological disaster”
An oil spill off the Peruvian coast earlier this month has proven to be bigger than previously thought. Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez said Friday that almost 12,000 barrels of oil leaked into the sea on 15 January. The spill was described as an “ecological disaster”. The tanker at the La Pampilla refinery was hit by waves following the volcanic eruption on Tonga. The site, located north of Lima, is owned by Repsol and the local government has demanded compensation. Also, prosecutors have opened an investigation into Repsol’s role in the incident. A judge granted a request on Friday to bar four executives from the firm leaving the country for 18 months amid the ongoing probe. In a statement to the AFP news agency, Repsol said it would “fully cooperate with any criminal investigation” and said it was already aiding in the preliminary stages.