Photo: The crude from the July 29 2010 spill flows down the stream into the river.
This report by the Federation of Indigenous Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO) and Peruvian NGO Shinai documents the ongoing impacts of oil drilling in Oil Blocks 1-AB and 8 in the Northern Peruvian Amazon. A team of monitors from the indigenous Achuar and Urarina communities on the Corrientes River documented 18 major crude oil spills in 2010 and over 90 spills over the last three years, directly affecting dozens of miles of rivers and streams and vast stretches of forest. Blocks 1-AB and 8 are currently operated by Argentine company Pluspetrol. Block 1-AB was operated by Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) from 1971 to 2000 and is the subject of ongoing litigation by communities alleging the company severely contaminated the environment for nearly 30 years.
An independent study by consultancy E-Tech International also identified serious failures in the clean-up of contaminated sites left by Oxy when they sold Block 1-AB to Pluspetrol over a decade ago. The community monitors also identified over 90 legacy contamination sites left by Oxy’s operations that are not within the clean-up plan agreed upon with Pluspetrol as part of the Block’s sale.