Brazil 'on alert' over an oil spill from Ecuador

Aerial view of the oil spill in Ecuador's Amazonian region Petroecuador says it will clean up the spill

Related Stories

Brazil is "on alert" over an oil spill that originated in Ecuador and is travelling downstream towards the Brazilian Amazon.

In a statement, the Brazilian foreign ministry said the navy and other agencies had been informed, and help was offered to Ecuador and Peru.

Last month, an estimated 11,480 barrels of oil leaked from a damaged pipeline into the River Coca in Ecuador.

The spill has already reached the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto.

"Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment), Brazil's navy and ANP (National Petroleum Agency) are on alert in the event that the oil slick reaches the country," Brazil's foreign ministry said.

"Brazil has offered aid to Ecuador and Peru to support the work of containment and dispersion of the oil slick in the two countries."

Peru also affected

On 31 May, a landslide damaged the trans-Ecuador pipeline, causing a spill of some 420,000 gallons (1.6m litres) of crude oil.

Some entered the Coca river, a tributary of the Amazon that also flows through Peru and Brazil.

As it travelled downstream, the slick polluted drinking water in Coca, an urban area of about 80,000 people at the confluence of the Coca and Napo rivers in Ecuador.

Aerial picture showing oil flowing in the Napo river The spill polluted drinking water supplies

Days later, on 4 June, the authorities in Peru said the spill had reached the Loreto region.

The Peruvian Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, called it a "very serious problem" and said Peru could seek compensation.

"If there is a serious level of affected areas, international law always gives you the possibility to establish a compensation issue.

"But... first we have to look at the extent of the problem," he told Peru's Canal N television.

On Saturday, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador offered an apology to Peru "for the problems we have caused".

He added that the Peruvian navy were helping Ecuador to clean up the spill.

Ecuador's state oil company, Petroecuador, has said it has hired a specialist US firm, Clean Caribbean & Americas, to begin clean-up operations.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Lotus 97T driven by Elio de AngelisBeen and Gone

    A champion F1 designer and other notable losses

  • A poster of Boris Nemtsov at a rally in St Petersburg, Russia, 1 MarchWho killed Nemtsov?

    Theories abound over murder that shocked Moscow

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.