Peru Sues Repsol With $4.5 Billion Due To Sweeping Oil Spill In The Pacific Ocean

In January 2022, Peru experienced a massive catastrophic oil spill that left the beaches polluted in Lima along its coastlines. The country’s consumer protection agency has filed a civil lawsuit and sought impairment costs that amount to $4.5 billion to $1.5 billion for locals and $3 billion for environmental deterioration.

The leak was observed from about 10,000 barrels resulting from grievous environmental damages and cessation of marine lives around and in the area. Peru recalls this incident as one of the biggest eco-catastrophes that has occurred recently, even though Repsol reportedly dismissed accountability regarding the occurrence.

Oil Spill
Image for representation purpose only

At the onset, the refinery blamed the waves brought about due to a volcanic emission in Tonga. But a probe discovered that a pipeline in Repsol’s name that reportedly runs underwater had catalyzed the incident. It occurred when an Italian tanker named Mare Doricum reached Repsol for unloading.

Repsol, however, has rebuffed the lawsuit mentioning that it lacks merit and the sum is unreasonable. So far, several fishermen and locals have lost their livelihoods from the disaster, as recorded by the Peruvian Environment Ministry.

Indecopi alleged that the adverse effects of the spill are felt by individuals working in and inhabiting the region. The head of the Indecopi mentioned that they’re doing their utmost to have Repsol compensate for the population living within about 150 Km of the contaminated waters.

The inspection proceedings started in January 2022 to look into Repsol’s conduct, and four of their executives were also prohibited from exiting the land for the subsequent 18 months. Repsol, in May, stated that it cost them about $150 million to clean up the spill.

Lately, there has been an increase in oil spills, posing questions about climate change and environmental depletion. Stuart Haszeldine, a faculty member associated with the University of

Edinburgh for Geosciences said that the firm might go into a settlement to save its tarnished reputation and shelter global permissions for future operations.

He exclaimed that this would be a contest between Peru’s legal system and a reluctant multinational to establish environmental justice.

References: The Economic Times, Daily Maverick, FBC News

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