Argentina's Federal Energy Secretary Darío Martínez has toured the area near the Río Negro town of Catriel where an oil spill caused environmental damage to assess the situation and order the measures to be taken.
The incident took place in a section of the oil pipeline system known as the Oleoductos del Valle system (Oldelval).
Martínez explained the works needed to solve the situation that will be undertaken. He also met with his Río Negro colleague Andrea Confini and with executives from Oldelval and of the Petróleos Sudamericana company to coordinate the joint efforts.
We have seen that the situation is controlled, that after cordoning off the affected area, the spill stopped, the pipeline began to be repaired and the spilt oil has already been collected. Now the specific work to remediate the entire affected area must begin, Martínez said.
The Ministry technicians surveyed the situation, and [they] will work to analyze the tasks carried out and to determine the causes and responsibilities of this spill episode, he added.
Oldelval reported late on Friday that they had managed to contain the spill, while the Government of Neuquén overflew the area with a drone to measure the damages. The nearby watercourses were not affected by the incident. Oldelval deployed an important operation in the area to start the oil recovery work and the cleaning of the area, both on the ground and on the vegetation, the company said in a statement.
The Federal Ministry of Environment also sent the Environmental Control Brigade to the area to evaluate the damages in the Medanito area.
The Rio Negro Secretary of Energy reported that the incident occurred in a “16-inch pipeline, the responsibility of which is the Oldelval company, which connects the El Medanito pumping station with the Rincón de Los Sauces pumping station, in Neuquén ”.
The failure occurred in the trunk pipeline system that transports the oil produced in the Neuquén Basin to Buenos Aires. As it is a national oil conduction network, inspectors from the National Energy Secretariat were involved.
Nobody was injured in the incident.
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