At the end of last week, the Ecuadorian government, through its Minister of the Environment, announced that oil was leaking from a pipeline in the middle of the Amazonian forest. In question, a leak in an oil pipeline transport of crude oil in the Piedra Fina area. According to the authorities, the rupture of the pipeline would be the consequences of the heavy rains that the region experienced causing landslides and falling rocks.
Since Friday, nearly 6,300 barrels of oil have polluted a protected natural area with fragile biodiversity. Worse still, the oil has also contaminated the Coca River, on which many villages depend in this region of northeastern Ecuador. "The affected area is located in the Cayambe-Coca National Park" , indicated the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador before adding that "The affected area is located in the Cayambe-Coca National Park" , indicated the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador. This 4,000 km² park is located about a hundred kilometers northeast of the capital Quito. According to information from park officials, the site includes “the sources of several rivers such as those of Due, Chingual, Cofanes and Cebeno which feed Aguarico and which, together with the Coca, a river, flow into the Napo, a large river” . In addition to the bodies of water essential to populations and vegetation, the reserve has around a hundred species of mammals (tapirs, cougars, bears, condors, etc.) as well as 400 species of birds.
The Ecuadorian government, for its part, clarified that the bad weather conditions damaged "four infrastructure pipes" used to transport 160,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oil wells located in the middle of the jungle. Oil extraction is operated by the company OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados);
The latter insisted that of the 6,300 barrels, 5,300 were collected and reinjected into the system; i.e. 83% of the million liters that spilled. "We have machinery and personnel in the area that are collecting traces of crude oil identified in the river," added OCP President Jorge Vugdelija, quoted in a company statement, taking the opportunity. to “assume responsibility for this event, caused by a case of force majeure”.
Remember, however, that this is not the first time that the Ecuadorian Amazon has been contaminated by hydrocarbons. Indeed, the country is rich in oil, which is also its main export product, and therefore attracts the greed of many oil companies. In May 2020, in this same area of Piedra Fina, 15,000 barrels spilled into three rivers during a similar incident.
Between 1960 and 1990, Texaco, a subsidiary of Chevron, had exploited these oil reserves in the Amazonian forest and had been accused of having destroyed part of the forest and deliberately dumped millions of tons of toxic waste in the middle of the jungle or in the rivers. , on several hundred sites.