February 26, 2019 / 7:31 PM / 6 months ago

Activists block access to waste site in Argentina used by oil companies

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Greenpeace activists in Argentina blocked access on Tuesday to a waste site used by companies that extract oil and gas from the Vaca Muerta shale formation, the organization said.

Greenpeace said there were illegal practices at the oil waste site which harmed the environment and local population.

The site is run by Treater SA, a company that handles waste from exploration and extraction of shale oil and gas. The site is used by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Argentina’s state-controlled oil company YPF SA.

YPF, the company with the largest investment at Vaca Muerta, told Reuters that the activists’ blockade did not impact its activity or facilities.

The Vaca Muerta shale formation in Patagonia is one of the largest reserves of unconventional hydrocarbons on the planet, though much of its oil and gas remains untapped.

“We hope the oil companies will stop contaminating the Patagonian ecosystem with toxic waste and will close this dump that violates provincial and national laws,” said Leonel Mingo, a member of Greenpeace’s Climate and Energy program.

Greenpeace also said in the statement that Treater did not take workers’ safety into account at the site. Treater did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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