- PDVSA considers Brazil’s claims “unfounded.”
- The production of the state-owned company has plummeted in recent years and suffers from sanctions imposed on the country by the United States.
- A Petrobras report concluded that the stains found on 139 beaches of the northeast coast would be a mixture of oils from Venezuela.
Venezuela denied responsibility on Thursday for oil spills that polluted more than 130 Brazilian beaches. In the community, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA said Brazil’s accusations about the origin of the oil are unfounded. “PDVSA categorically rejects statements by Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, who accuses Venezuela of being responsible for crude oil that has contaminated the beaches of northeastern Brazil since early September,” the state-owned company said.
The company considers Brazil’s claims “unfounded,” as there is no evidence of any crude oil spills in Venezuelan oil fields that may have caused damage to the neighboring country’s maritime ecosystem. ” The text also condemns the “biased claims”, noting that the spots were located about 6,650 kilometers away from its infrastructure. PDVSA also states that it was not reported by customers or subsidiaries about oil spills near the Brazilian coast.
The production of the state-owned company has plummeted in recent years and suffers from sanctions imposed on the country by the United States, aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro. On Wednesday, at a hearing at the House of Representatives’ Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, Salles said the oil was “most likely” from Venezuela. “This oil came from a foreign ship sailing near the Brazilian coast,” said the minister.
A Petrobras report released on Tuesday by the Brazilian press concluded that the stains found on 139 beaches of the northeast coast would be a mixture of oils from Venezuela. Another study by the Institute of Geosciences of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) confirmed on Thursday this origin. “Our agrochemical studies show that the oil comes from a Venezuelan basin. This work really revealed that it is an oil produced in Venezuela,” said Olivia Oliveira, director of the UFBA Geosciences Institute.
A researcher said there is no way to know how long this material has been at sea and whether it comes from a ship. In response to the note issued by PDVSA, Salles told reporters on Thursday that the Venezuelan argument is “misplaced” because the hypothesis is that the material leaked from a ship during transport and not from production fields.
The minister points out that “the indication of the Venezuelan origin of the oil is based on a technical laboratory analysis by Petrobras.” The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, however, avoided naming culprits for the environmental disaster. “We still don’t know where this oil came from and how it came,” he said. What was said is that the oil found has similar characteristics like oil extracted from Venezuelan wells,” he added.
The oil stains began to appear in early September. The substance has already reached all nine states of the Northeast. So far, government teams have collected since last month 133 tons of oil. Beach cleaning work is carried out by Petrobras Environmental Defense Center teams. Some of the most visited tourist sites in the Northeast were hit, such as Porto de Galinhas and Boa Viagem in Pernambuco, Praia do Forte and Porto de Sauípe in Bahia.