Repsol execs stopped from leaving Peru after oil spill


A judge has stopped Repsol’s executive team from leaving Peru for 18 months while the government investigates an oil spill at an oil refinery run by the Spanish company.
The spill happened on January 15 during the tsunami that followed the eruption of the underwater volcano near Tonga. That resulted in Peru declaring an environmental emergency after 21 beaches were contaminated, with prosecutors opening an investigation for the crime of environmental contamination.
Authorities estimate the size of the spill at least at 11,900 barrels but said the figure could rise. Initial estimates were around 6,000 barrels.
The ban on travel was imposed by Judge Romualdo Aguedo after considering whether there was a “potential risk” that Repsol’s Peru director, Jaime Fernández-Cuesta, and three executives would leave the country. The company has said that it’s cooperating with the authorities in the investigation and also working on the cleaning of the beaches affected.
Repsol hired more than 2,000 people, including local fishermen, to clean the beaches. The company has also promised to deliver food baskets to affected families.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted underwater off the coast of Tonga on Saturday, January 15 triggering an earthquake measuring 7.4 magnitudes on the Richter scale. The Pacific island was subsequently reported awash with waves of around 2.7ft high. Local residents fled to the safety of higher ground. The quake also affected the west coast of the america’s.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at

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