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Pluspetrol Faces Fines for Pollution in Peru

LIMA, Peru

Argentinian oil company Pluspetrol will have to pay nearly $12 million USD in fines for pollution in the Loreto area in the Peruvian Amazon.

The company faces eight separate fines for failing to take appropriate remediation measures and for causing contamination of the Corrientes River in the Lot 8 area.

Pluspetrol maintains that it acted lawfully and that its drilling practices met established standards.

At the beginning of last month, Pluspetrol was forced to shut down operations in Loreto due to protests by indigenous groups there. The protesters were demanding compensation for water and land use, as well as environmental remediation.

They took over 16 of Pluspetrol’s wells. Hundreds of protesters also converged on Lot 1-AB, the largest production site in the country.

Pluspetrol reported losses of thousands of barrels as a result.

The indigenous communities claimed that drinking water sources in the area had been contaminated due to oil extraction activities over the past four decades. 

Back in April, indigenous Achuar community members took over parts of lot 1-AB for a week, leading to a 70 percent decrease in production.

This week, the Achuar won an undisclosed compensation settlement from US-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., the former owner of Lot 1-AB, over environmental contamination. The case was filed in US courts in 2007.

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