Argentina: another oil spill reported in Bahía Blanca

derrame de petróleo en Bahía Blanca

New oil spill in Bahía Blanca

Authorities at the port of Bahía Blanca, located in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, reported a recent oil spill incident , the second compared to the one that occurred at the end of last month. However, it was highlighted that on this occasion, the damage was controlled in a shorter period of time.

The new spill, which took place at 5:30 a.m. last Wednesday, was the result of a malfunction during an unloading maneuver in the monobuoy operated by the Oiltanking company. This company stated, through a statement, that it acted more quickly to contain the leak on this occasion. It is worth mentioning that the San Matías oil tanker was also involved in the incident.

The contingency plan for hydrocarbon spills in water (PLANACON) was activated, giving notice to the Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA), Bahía Blanca District ,” the document states.

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Details of the Bahía Blanca oil spill

The incident occurred during the unloading of crude oil from the tanker through the monobuoy, connected to an oil pipeline at the terminal. The company explained that the crude oil is stored or sent through the pipeline to various refineries. Likewise, he noted that there was a malfunction in a pressure measuring device, which resulted in a leak detected by company personnel on board. This led to the immediate interruption of operations and the implementation of repair work to contain, control and completely eliminate the spill.

Likewise, the company highlighted that containment and control of the spill was carried out using barriers and absorbents, carried out by the contracting company CINTRA, managing to contain the entire spill.

Environmentalists and representatives of the fishing sector condemned the incident: ”Once again it has happened at the Punta Cigüeña monobuoy, in front of Punta Alta. As far as I know, this time the containment system worked, but, of course, it is never 100% recoverable, there is always water damage.“said Lucas Beier, legal representative of artisanal fishermen, in a radio interview.

For its part, the Ministry of the Environment of the province of Buenos Aires has suspended all operations of the company Oiltanking and has requested an immediate review by the federal Ministry of Energy to determine if the company can continue its operations.

It is important to remember that on the afternoon of December 26, a faulty mooring maneuver of the ship Cabo Sounión with another Oiltanking monobuoy resulted in a first spill, but the measures were not taken until 3:00 p.m. the next day. As a result of this incident, the communities of Bahía Blanca and Coronel Rosales filed a criminal complaint against Oiltanking Ebytem SA Terminal Marítima Puerto Rosales, alleging that the company did not communicate the problem in time or adequately activate the contingency plan.

After the first episode, the company, which has operated an oil pipeline in the region since 2008, began a remediation plan that is being reviewed by the Ministry of the Environment of the Province of Buenos Aires.

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