Fuel oil residues began to reach the Campeche beaches, after an oil leak in the Ek Balam maritime area in the Cantarell Sound.
It is the second time this year that oil stains show up in Playa Bonita, located in the state capital. Staff from the Campeche Integral Port Administration (APICAM) went to the place to collect the residues that arrived to the coast.
Playa Bonita was closed to the population to prevent people from going in to swim, even when the spots were visible on the shore of the beach. Specialists have detailed that the oil stain covers an area of 467 square kilometers. As we reported in a previous story, this beach is among the places the Campeche government recognized as clean and safe for visitors.
The Ek Balam oil fields are part of the Cantarell Complex, of the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), located 80 kilometers northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, in southeastern Mexico.
Inhabitants of Lerma, Campeche, a small fishing community located eight kilometers from the state capital, assured that these stains are due to the explosions of oil platforms that have occurred this year and said that they are willing to collaborate to prevent oil residues from continuing to arrive to the beaches, since many of them live very close and go fishing in their small boats.
The residents of Seybaplaya and Champotón, two coastal municipalities, are affected by the arrival of oil stains that are not invasive or very large but they don’t allow their children to bathe there.
Pemex has not released a statement on the matter and has only limited to release a press bulletin dated July 18, where it clarifies that the oil spills were collected with special boats. However, due to the strong winds, the crude was dispersed and impossible to collect.
The APICAM announced that paramedical staff are deployed in the Playa Bonita to help in case any possible incident. The oil stains have been arriving since the beginning of the week, but it was not until today that it was sighted on the shore with a pungent odor, which was reported by fishermen who were in the area.
Using shovels and garbage bags, the fishermen collected what they could of the oil that has arrived up on the seashore joining the APICAM brigades.
Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace warned about this oil spill since the beginning of July, in the same area where the fire on the Pemex Nohoch-A platform occurred on July 7, in the Campeche Sound. Specialists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have also warned about a great spill
Pemex admitted that its network of pipelines from the Ek Balam fields suffered two leaks but insisted that they were minimal and denied that it was a spill of more than 400 square kilometers, as the organizations had denounced.