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a recent oil leak caused the spill of 6,300 barrels in the Amazonia Ecuadorian, affecting a nature reserve and a river, according to data provided this Wednesday by the company that operates the broken pipeline.

the private company Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline (OCP) stated in a statement that “5,300 barrels of crude oil have already been collected and reinjected into the system” and specified that this amount represents 84.13% of the spill.

The emergency was unleashed last Friday when a rock fall perforated the pipeline in Piedra Fina, a mountain range located about 80 km east of Quito and on the border between the Amazonian provinces of Napo and Sucumbíos.

After the breakage, the company activated a emergency device to mitigate the damage by opening holes or pools where, according to OCP, a large part of the spilled crude.

“The timely action of the team managed to collect 84.13% of the crude,” said the president of OCP Ecuador, Jorge Vugdelija, in the same statement.

But the crude oil fell into the Quijos river and advanced to the Coca, which supplies indigenous communities.

No one can “normally bathe in the river, or drink water from here, there are no more fish, there is nothing,” he told AFP. Bolivia Buenano, a 40-year-old trader hired to collect the crude in Puerto Maderos, on the banks of the Coca and about 120 km further east of Piedra Fina.


In the same area you can see a film of oil on the current and the sand blackened by crude oil.

On Monday, the Environment Ministry indicated that the spill occurred within the Cayambe-Coca National Park, which is home to a great variety of fauna and a water reserve.

The oil contaminated two of the 403,000 hectares of the park located in the northeast of Ecuador and that extends through the Andean provinces of Pichincha (whose capital is Quito) and Imbabura, as well as Sucumbíos and Napo.

The Alejandro Labaka Foundation, which defends the rights of native peoples, estimates that some 27,000 indigenous people from the Kichwa communities may suffer some type of affectation with the oil spills, which from time to time affect the Amazon.

“We feel quite indignant because we experience this every two or three years,” he told AFP. Romel Buenaño, a 35-year-old farmer who lives in Puerto Maderos.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities demanded that the company supply water and food to the affected populations. “It is clear that the river water cannot be used or consumed,” the organization said on social media.


This Wednesday, OCP assured that the cleaning work in Piedra Fina continues. “In the area we have machinery and personnel collecting the traces of oil identified in the river,” Vugdelija said.

The oil company also assured that it has brought water and food to Amazonian communities such as Toyuca, Sardinas and Guayusa.

“The oil comes from here and we as communes have not had a benefit. What they have always supported us with is a bottle of water, some water tanks,” he said. Rosa Capinoa, leader of the Fecunae indigenous community organization that accompanied the AFP on a tour of affected areas.

The president of OCP acknowledged the impact of the leak: “We are aware of the effects of the force majeure event and we act responsibly in handling it, so we will spare no resources to comply with the cleanup, remediation and compensation.”

The OCP transports 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) through its pipeline, with a capacity of 450,000 bpd. next to the state Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline System (SOTE) serves to transport oil from fields in the Amazon jungle to ports in the Pacific in the northwest of the country.

In May 2020, in the Piedra Fina area, there was a subsidence that destroyed sections of the SOTE, the OCP and a state-owned fuel pipeline.

So, about 15,000 barrels leaked and authorities did not specify how many were recovered. The oil reached three Amazonian rivers, up to the mighty Napo, a tributary of the Amazon, and affected riverside populations.

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