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Monday, August 18, 2008

At least 10,000 gallons of crude residues spill in Ecuador

QUITO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 10,000 gallons (37,854 liters) of petroleum residues were spilled into a river in Ecuadoralong the border with Colombia, local media reported Wednesday

The accident occurred when a tanker traveling from the industrial region of Shushufindi to the Ecuadoran capital Quito tipped over in the Aguarico river, local TV Ecuavisa reported.

The crude spilled over an area of 800 square meters contaminating both the water and the tideland along the river. The possible consequences for the communities living in the area were not mentioned.

The Environment Protection Management of Petroproduction, a subsidiary of the national oil company Petroecuador, activated an emergency plan and sent two cleaning groups to set restraint barriers and absorbent materials to prevent the crude from further expanding and to minimize the environmental impact.

Last June, a petroleum leakage affected an area of 4,000 square meters in the Amazonia river when a oil pipe broke some 190 km east of Quito, Petroecuador said.

Another oil spill occurred last year in the province of Sucumbios, contaminating the Cuyabeno Fauna Reserve lagoons which boasts 14 unique ecosystems in the country, some of them even rare in the world.

In August 2007 in the Cuyabeno river, Petroecuador lost in a oil leakage some 600 barrels, about 0.3 percent of their daily production. The economic loss was estimated at 35,000 U.S. dollars while the cost of environmental recovery amounted to 910,000 dollars.

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