On Tuesday, September 7, Maxus Energy Corp, a Dallas-based oil company which has called its Ecuadorian rainforest Ra modelS for oil development in the rainforest, was responsible for a 900 barrel spill of heavy crude. Maxus, whose Ecuador project area includes Yasuni National Park and the Huaorani Indian Reserve, said it was working to clean up the spill, along the road they have recently opened between the Shushufindi refinery and the Napo River, and that about two-thirds had been contained.

An independent monitoring team comprised of representatives of the Indigenous peoples organizations COICA, CONAIE, and CONFENIAE, and the environmental organization Accion Ecologica, has gone to the scene to ensure that Maxus has undertaken a thorough cleanup of the spill.

According to Maxus, the spill was caused by human error, while a Panamanian subcontractor was laying a pipeline for Maxus. The workers ruptured a pipeline already in use belonging to Occidental Petroleum Co, which has been drilling within 100 yards of the Limoncocha Lagoon, the heart of the Quichua Indian community of Limoncocha.

As of yet, there has been no assessment of the spillUs impacts on flora and fauna in the region, nor on local communities. The independent monitoring team has recently been formed to ensure participation by local communities and independent technical experts in assessment of the environmental and social impacts of oil development in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

For more information:
Glen Switkes
Rainforest Action Network
450 Sansome Street, Suite 700
San Francisco California 94111, USA
Tel: (415) 398-4404 Fax: (415) 398-2732
e-mail: en.rainforest

or: Yvonne Ramos, Accion Ecologica
Lerida 380 y Pontevedra
Quito, Ecuador
Tel: (593) 2-526-994 Fax: (593) 2-547-516

(Posted to Native-l on Sat, 11 Sep 1993 Rainforest Action Network (