Spanish state-run oil company Repsol now blames a sudden movement of the Italian-flagged Mare Doricum tanker caused the Jan. 15 spill of thousands of barrels of crude oil off the coast of Lima, which has caused a major environmental disaster in the region.
Hundreds of local animals were killed and some untrained relief workers had to be hospitalized following the major incident.
Repsol has always maintained the sudden maneuver by the ship had resulted in the spill and first blamed it on the Tonga tsumani, but a report issued by Peru's Supervisory Body for Investment in Energy and Mining (Osinergmin) found that “anomalous waves” were not the cause.
“The presentation of all relevant information was required to determine the cause and possible breaches of the regulations, including records of the leak detection system, discharge procedure, status of fact, among others,” Osinergmin had said.
Nevertheless and according to Spanish media, Repsol was still considering legal action against the shipping company's insurance for its alleged responsibility while unloading crude at La Pampilla refinery. The newspaper El País said Repsol was planning to seek a multi-million dollar compensation.
The Mare Doricum is owned Fratelli D'amico Armatori Spa, it was reported.
El País also said Repsol's thesis is supported by a study carried out by the companies Inerco and Orbital Eos. The Spanish company has so far deployed a 2,500-strong relief team to clean the waters, which have already carried out 67% or the work needed to return the Peruvian coast to its natural state.
The Osinergmin specialists had found that the spill ”would have been caused by the breakage of the fastening spigots with the Multibuoy Terminal Number 2, which would have generated a sudden movement of the ship, thus affecting the integrity of the submarine discharge system.”
Osinergmin also asked Repsol to report what it did to stop the oil leak, since the hydrocarbon company on January 15, at 5:25 p.m., reported the spill of only 0.16 barrels of oil, which had affected 2.5 m2 of sea, while it is currently estimated that it would be of 6,000 barrels.