Oil-safety concerns rise amid Venezuela’s crisis


When Jorge Padrón traveled to Venezuela’s Oriente region in 2014 to inspect pollution from heavy-crude operations there, he came away alarmed by the spill-response practices of PDVSA, Venezula’s accident-prone state-owned oil company. “All they’d done was cover the pools of oil with yellow sand so they couldn’t be seen,” says Padrón, a former environmental advisor to the Venezuelan Congress who was researching a report for Provea, a leading Venezuelan human rights group. Concern about PDVSA’s environmental-safety performance is longstanding, and only has deepened amid the crisis-torn country’s ongoing economic travails. In that sense, a spill last October in which crude from PDVSA’s Amuay oil refinery in western Venezuela flowed into a nearby bay was numbingly familiar. Once again, government... [Log in to read more]

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