UPDATE 2-Petroperu fined, president ousted over oil spills in Amazon

jueves 30 de junio de 2016 21:53 GYT

(Recasts with announced environmental fine)

By Mitra Taj

LIMA, June 30 (Reuters) - The Peruvian government dismissed the head of Petroperu, German Velasquez, and fined the state-owned energy company about $3.5 million after the third oil spill in the Amazon this year from its four-decades-old pipeline.

Energy and Mines Minister Rosa Maria Ortiz said Petroperu had been illegally pumping crude through the 1,106-kilometer (687-mile) pipeline, which was supposed to have been closed for repairs following two spills earlier this year.

"That's a serious offense and that's what must be sanctioned," Ortiz said on local broadcaster RPP.

Velasquez, whom Ortiz said formally resigned on Tuesday, declined to comment.

Petroperu denied this week that it had been transporting oil through the pipeline but declined to comment on where the leaked crude in the latest rupture came from.

Environmental regulator OEFA said Petroperu would have to pay about $3.5 million for the latest spill of about 600 barrels, detected on Friday, and for the company's "repeated and systematic failure of its environmental obligations."

Public outcry over persistent problems with the pipeline could build pressure for reforms at Petroperu during the government of centrist President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who will take office on July 28.   Continuación...