French oil firm's polluting presence in Peruvian Amazon

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The French oil company Maurel & Prom has come under fire from French and local non-governmental organisations after it abruptly left a drilling platform in the Peruvian Amazon that was no longer deemed economically viable following the fall in world oil prices. In particular it has been accused of leaving behind environmental problems and of playing down the risks of pollution to local communities. Meanwhile the French Parliament has been considering a law that would force multinationals to operate a “vigilance plan” to avoid environmental and other problems in the future. Karl Laske reports.

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For the Amazon it was the equivalent of an act of environmental vandalism. The French oil company Maurel & Prom has discreetly withdrawn from the DOM-1 drilling platform that had opened in 2010 in the province of Condorcanqui, in the north of the Peruvian Amazon. So when on May 21st, 2015, inspectors from Peru's environment ministry arrived at the site they discovered the installation, including a base camp and heliport, completely deserted and left under the guard of a local community. The Fortuna 1XD-ST3 wells, as they are officially known, were left “in a state of abandon”, according to the officials. The “pits for the drilling waste are covered and closed”, while the evacuation pipes for the industrial effluent to the rivers are “inoperative”.