PDVSA’s oil spills go global

Just right after the Amuay disaster, PDVSA has another problem in its hands: this time in Ah, Oh, Curaçao.

An oil spill from the Isla Refinery, currently handled by PDVSA, has stricken the natural reserve of Jan Kok located nearby. Several wild species including flamingoes (one of them seen in the picture) call Jan Kok home.

Reporter Dick Drayer of Dutch Public Broadcaster NOS indicated that the size of the spill covers an area the size “…of around 30 football fields”. His report is available here (in Dutch). Peter van Leeuwen, a member of the enviromental group Stichting SMOC called the incident “…probably the biggest (environmental) disaster in Curacao”.

Curaçao’s government is monitoring the situation. In May, a report indicated that they would like a “modernization” of the refinery, as PDVSA’s lease runs out in 2019 and the refinery is a key element of the island’s economy. There’s a debate in Curaçao about whether to keep the refinery going or shut it down, according to this BBC article.

13 thoughts on “PDVSA’s oil spills go global

  1. That comment, “…probably the biggest (environmental) disaster in Curacao” would presumably take in the decades of Shell operations too which would mean that it says much local outrage would be understandable.

    In matters outrage, however, there is one that seems to be passing unnoticed, to nobody’s surprise and everyone’s disgrace, namely, after rightly getting incensed about 40+ fatal casualties at the refinery and all it entails, the hows and whys etc, there’s been little or no comment on the garimpeiros’ deliberate massacre of 80 Yanomami in the Alto Orinoco, in July but only now emerging: the bad guys arrived by HELICOPTER (poor struggling garimpeiros?) and wiped out the entire settlement except for three who were in the jungle hunting and lived to tell the tale. The Caracas Chronicles might think about making mention of this other outrageous episode with over 80 dead Venezuelans.


  2. This is too disgusting for words! The Venezuelan Govt. silence is probably not due to electoral considerations, but rather to appease “good friends” Lula/Roussef. In any event, its unconscionable, but typical of this anti-Venezuela regime. The last missionaries in that region were expelled by Chavez some years ago as “CIA agents.” Too bad for the Yanomamis, since they may have served as some protection against the Garimpeiros, who probably wouldn’t have risked an international incident of that scope.


    • Luckily Evo Morales is a Chavez ally, I’m sure he will get right on that. Oh yeah, China is also a big advocate of Indigineous peoples, as another close ally I’m sure they will sternly remind Hugo to look out for their rights. The dead natives of Venezuela should feel blessed to have so many friends of Hugo who profess to care about them. Sadly their thanks has not been forthcoming.


  3. With regard to the Curacao refinery – Why don’t they just expropriate it? Chavez would in a heartbeat.

    With regard to the massacre of 80 Yanomami – Just another event in the “Perfect Storm” of events that have come together to destroy the re-election of Chavez. All the neglect & incompetence is coming home to roost.

    There should be an investigation of this event but probably won’t be.

    Hay un camino!


    • Island,

      There are quite a few in Curacao who are courting Chavez.They walk a fine line between flirting with Holland for benefits and flirting with Chavez for political friendship with possible benefits.


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