Repsol Controls Oil Spill Near Ecuadorian Nature Reserve

Oil firm Repsol-YPF has contained an oil spill of some 100 barrels from its block near an Ecuadorian nature reserve in the country's eastern Amazon jungle, a company spokesman said Friday.

The spill in Repsol's Block 16, bordering the Yasuni National Park, was contained late Thursday, Repsol spokesman Federico Cruz told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The situation has been under control since Thursday," Cruz said. "The spill was caused by a small fissure in a pipeline. At the moment we are evaluating, but we are ruling out any contamination to rivers, environmental damage or effects on the community."

The area is home to several indigenous communities.

Cruz said the spill was accidental.

Deputy Mines and Oil Minister Jose Serrano said that the ministry has sent a team of specialists to determine the scale of the spill.

Serrano said that government officials will decide whether Repsol will be penalized.

Last year, President Rafael Correa asked the international community to pay Ecuador $350 million a year to allow it to avoid drilling in the Yasuni National Park.

The reserve is estimated to hold some 1 billion barrels of crude.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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