Peru reports another release of oil off Lima

Environmental regulators in Peru have reported a second oil spill off Peru near the La Pampilla refinery complex. An additional eight barrels of oil had leaked into the sea, they said. The leak was detected during the response to the first spill, which occurred on January 15th when abnormal wave heights disrupted an offloading procedure at the refinery.

Suezmax tanker Mare Doricum (IMO 9446374) was unloading a shipment of Brazilian crude oil at one of the La Pampilla refinery’s offshore mooring buoys. A quantity of the cargo was released, estimated by local officials to be in the region of 6,000 barrels.

The spill was reported to have polluted miles of beaches and ecological preserves near Lima. Peru’s foreign ministry said that it was the worst ecological disaster in the city’s history.

Peru’s political parties on left and right have come together to demand harsh penalties for refinery operator Repsol.

Regarding the second, small, spill, Repsol acknowledged that more oil had entered the water, but it said that the release should not be classified as a “new oil spill.”

“During the work carried out [Tuesday] on the infrastructure located 18 metres below the surface of the sea, a controlled upwelling of remnants of the spill on January 15th was generated. These works are carried out based on the procedure approved by the competent authority and are part of the investigation,” Repsol said.

It noted that Terminal Multibuoys 2 had been inoperative since January 15th, so it was not possible that the eight-barrel leakage was a new oil spill.

The company said that some amount of leakage had been anticipated, and containment booms and other equipment had already been deployed around the site.

Peru’s environmental regulator Osinergmin agreed that the spill was small and that it had been contained. “Osinergmin supervisors on site verified that the situation was under control,” the agency said.

The Peruvian Navy spotted the new release during an overflight survey. Jesús Menacho, head of the Coast Guard Operations Command of the Peruvian Navy, said that “when we saw the stain, we immediately called a meeting with Repsol officials so that they could inform us about it. They told us that as a result of the work to remove a pipe that goes from the La Pampilla Refinery to the Multiboyas terminal”.

2009-built, Italy-flagged, 81,499 gt Mare Doricum is owned and ISM managed by D’Amico Fratelli SpA of Rome, Italy. Commercial manager is Teekay Tankers Chartering of Singapore. It is entered with Standard Club on behalf of Fratelli d’Amico Armatori SpA.