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Oil Spill News from Gabon

Below I’ve pasted an article posted on The lagoon is actually named Fernan Vaz (also known as N’komi) and is the only lagoon in Gabon that is not part of a national park or protected area (and unfortunately it’s also the only lagoon I haven’t surveyed for manatees yet, although I hope to get there next Fall). The spill occurred at the southern end of the lagoon, at almost the furthest point from it’s outlet to the ocean (which is obviously good for the ocean, but bad for the lagoon and its wildlife). There is little information so far on the effects of the spill.

Perenco Pipeline Burst May Have Caused Gabonese Oil Spill
By Clare Spencer

May 27 (Bloomberg) — A pipeline operated by Perenco SA, a closely held French oil company, may have burst and caused an oil spill in a lagoon off the coast of Gabon, said Bas Huijbregts, a technical adviser to the World Wildlife Fund.

The spill occurred in the Ferna Naz lagoon near Omboue, 228 kilometers (142 miles) south of the capital, Libreville, on May 12, Huijbregts said in an interview today in the city. While the pipeline has subsequently been repaired, residents have been told not to drink the water, according to the Web site of Publish What You Pay, a Gabonese non-governmental organization.

No one was available for comment when Perenco’s office in Libreville was contacted, said Magali Bechade, a personal assistant at the company.

Perenco pumps 50,000 barrels of oil a day in Gabon, according to its Web site. Gabon is sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth-biggest oil producer and produced 232,000 barrels a day in 2006, according to the BP Statistical Review. Nigeria is the continent’s biggest crude producer.
Map for reference (dark green areas are national parks):

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