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  • The Vaca Muerta shale oil drilling rig is seen in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina, in a July 11, 2013 handout.

    The Vaca Muerta shale oil drilling rig is seen in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina, in a July 11, 2013 handout. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 1 November 2018

Nearly 45 hectares affected by YPF oil spill in Neuquen province, Argentina

Argentine energy company YPF will be held responsible for a recent oil spill which took place in an area covering approximately 10-soccer-fields long, in Bandurria Sur, Neuquen province.

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According to Clarin, the Neuquen province announced that YPF would be fined for the impact on the environment. However, the amount can only be determined once the relevant ministry conducts a thorough investigation of the event.  

“It is a very big affectation. We don’t yet have clear explanations. We have received advice from specialists about pressure and rising of wells. They tell us that some security measures were probably missing,” legislator Santiago Nogueira said.

The spill lasted for approximately 36 hours across about 45 hectares, eight of which were directly affected while 37 others experienced low to medium effects.

After days of no information regarding the magnitude of the spill, environmental advocacy groups Green Peace and FARN stated that the immediately affected region was about 85,000 square meters.

According to YPF, the directly affected areas comprise of eight hectares directly surrounding the well where there are mostly equipment and logistics installations and that another 16 hectares received a medium-low impact. Lastly, the company indicated another 21 areas were “lightly” touched by crude oil spray, also stating that flora had been affected, but not fauna.

The process of remediating the affected area is expected to take nearly eight months. YPF will employ nearly 110 workers who will  pilie up crude to be extracted from worst affected areas, cleaning vegetation with power-washers and removing crude from flora by hand. Also, in some cases, plants will have to be cut down.

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