Oil company Repsol will face a lawsuit in a Dutch court for about $1 billion (912 million euros) due to the 2022 oil spill at the La Pampilla refinery in northern Lima, local media reported Friday and the company confirmed.
“We have learned that La Pampilla refinery has been sued in a Dutch court on behalf of a group of people allegedly affected by the spill. To date, we are reviewing the scope of the claim,” said a statement from Repsol, which did not confirm the amount of the lawsuit.
According to the newspaper El Comercio, the lawsuit is being led by the international law firm Pogust Goodhead for the loss of thousands of jobs.
The opinion from Repsol, the lawsuit is “unfounded”.
In Repsol’s opinion, this lawsuit “has no basis”, although it explained that the La Pampilla refinery “is respectful of the right of individuals to go to the justice system when they consider it necessary”.
“However, based on similar experiences, we consider that this case needs to be addressed in Peru,” the company added.
El Comercio, which spoke with the plaintiffs, reported that the class action has more than 34,000 signatures from those affected.
According to the plaintiffs, “what is being sought is financial compensation for the damages caused by the spill of some 12,000 barrels of oil on 15 January 2022, which led to the stoppage of small-scale fishing and the closure of beaches, which is still in force today”.
The newspaper said the court must now “hold a first hearing in June to determine whether the lawsuit proceeds in its jurisdiction”.
The oil company says it has allocated more than 1 billion soles, some 250 million euros, for clean-up, remediation and compensation.
For its part, Repsol recalled in its statement that, to date, “the company has allocated more than 1 billion soles for clean-up, remediation and compensation tasks”.
“Ninety-eight percent of those affected identified by the Peruvian government have received full compensation,” it added.
“Likewise, according to all measurements by accredited laboratories and the results published in the reports of the Peruvian environmental authorities, the water in the sea and the affected beaches have long met the highest national and international environmental quality standards,” he added.
In this regard, he considered that the affected beaches “are suitable for the return of tourist and fishing activities in the area”.