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A “ghost ship” smuggling Venezuelan oil probable cause of the massive spill along Brazilian northeast beaches

Wednesday, October 16th 2019 - 08:10 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Brazil's navy says it is investigating “lots of hypotheses” for the cause of the massive spill, including a ship accident. (Pic by Reuters) Brazil's navy says it is investigating “lots of hypotheses” for the cause of the massive spill, including a ship accident. (Pic by Reuters)

A huge oil spill off Brazil's northeastern coast may have involved a “ghost ship” carrying Venezuelan oil in breach of US sanctions, a Petrobras expert close to the probe into the disaster said on Tuesday.

Brazil has accused its South American neighbor of responsibility for the leakage that began in early September and affects a 2,000-kilometre stretch of the Atlantic coast - charges Venezuela's state oil giant PDVSA denies.

Describing the incident as “very complex and unprecedented,” Brazil's navy says it is investigating “lots of hypotheses” for the cause of the massive spill, including a ship accident.

“Yesterday we had a meeting with representatives of various public bodies, such as the environmental agency Ibama, prosecutors and the navy, and this hypothesis of a ghost ship was mentioned,” Maria Christina Araujo, an oceanographer at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, said.

“It would be a cargo ship sailing illegally, following little known shipping routes, and would be carrying Venezuelan oil despite sanctions.”

Venezuela - a once-rich oil-producing nation - is in the grip of an economic crisis and a political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The situation has worsened with successive rounds of US sanctions against Maduro's government, including steps that have severely curbed its oil exports.

Brazil's Environment Minister Ricardo Salles told a congressional commission last week that the oil “probably came from Venezuela,” citing a report from state oil giant Petrobras. Petrobras, which is involved in the clean-up, has said the oil was “neither produced nor sold” by the Brazilian company.

The oil has appeared in all nine of Brazil's northeastern states - a poor region with an economy that depends largely on tourism at its picturesque beaches.

So far, nearly 200 tons of oil have been scraped off affected beaches.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has asserted that the oil spill was the work of criminals.

But Araujo said it was more likely an “accidental leak.”

“We have never seen in Brazil a disaster of such magnitude which affects such an extensive area,” she added.

Tamar, a group dedicated to the protection of sea turtles, has said the leakage was “the worst environmental tragedy” it has encountered since its formation in 1980.

 

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • :o))

    I believe in ghosts - in Ghost-Ships; I believe even more!

    Oct 16th, 2019 - 04:46 pm 0
  • imoyaro

    I love Ghost Ships...

    https://img.photobucket.com/albums/b521/imoyaro/kkrique4_zpsv642e38g.jpg

    Oct 18th, 2019 - 01:28 pm 0
  • :o))

    There are “Ghost” Political Parties. So why not Ghost Ships? The Ghost-Ship Fairy Tale is SO FUNNY:
    - in an instant, oil sleeks suddenly appeared from nowhere
    - not one ship reported it coming all the way from Venezuela
    - Satelights read a number-plate of a car but are blind to a huge oil-sleeks floating on the sea-surface
    - There were NO live/ongoing photos & videos of the incident
    - Coast Guards, maritime & air-forces could detect NOTHING!
    https://imirante.com/oestadoma/imagens/2019/07/07/1562535760-246986113-747x429.jpg

    Oct 20th, 2019 - 09:38 am 0
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