Peru Sues Repsol $4.5b Over Oil Spill

The Peruvian authorities sued Spanish energy company Repsol for $4.5 billion over a massive oil spill last January on the Peruvian coast.

The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) has sought $3 billion in environmental damage and $1.5 billion for consumer compensation. 

“These suits could create precedents for oil spills that cause damage and collective non-material damages due to environmental pollution of coastal areas,” INDECOPI Executive Director Julian Palacin said on Friday.

However, Repsol dismissed the lawsuit as “unfounded and inappropriate.

“INDECOPI’s estimates are lacking the bare minimum needed to support the indicated figures,” Repsol said in a statement adding that the company has carried out a series of actions “to return the coastline to its original state” despite “not having been the cause of the spill”.

The oil spill affected more than 700,000 residents, mostly fishermen and forced the closure of twenty beaches and dozens of businesses in the area.

The lawsuit was filed before the 27th civil court in Lima against six companies – Repsol (Spain), Mapfre Global Risks (Spain), Mapfre Peru Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (Peru), La Pampilla Refinery (Peru), Transtotal Maritime Agency (Peru) and Fratelli d’amico Armatori (Italy). 

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