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Ecuador scrambles to contain oil spill in Amazon region

Christian Fernsby |
Ecuadorean authorities on Thursday were scrambling to limit the environmental impact of a crude oil spill in the country’s Amazon region, where pipeline bursts prompted by a landslide this week caused crude to enter the Coca river.

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Topics: ECUADOR    OIL    SPILL    AMAZON   

The Energy Ministry said in a Wednesday evening statement that it had placed barriers around the spill in an area home to several indigenous communities and near the source of drinking water for the city of El Coca, with some 45,000 residents.

State-run Petroecuador, which manages the SOTE pipeline, and private Heavy Crude Pipeline (OCP) said they had deployed six teams across several areas to “contain the spill.”

Authorities have not yet provided an estimate for how much crude was lost due to the pipeline ruptures.

El Coca had preventatively shifted its water supply to another nearby river, the Payamino, due to the spill and had faced some disruption, said Juan Baez, the city’s potable water director. He said normal service would likely be restored by Thursday evening.

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