Peru Facing Fuel Shortage after Suspending Repsol Operations

LIMA (Reuters) — New Peruvian Prime Minister Hector Valer said on Thursday the country was facing a fuel shortage due to a government decree that forbids Repsol SA from unloading any new oil into a local refinery in the wake of a large oil spill last month.

"We are starting the fuel shortage since yesterday, due to a decree that we need to annul," Valer told reporters.

Valer, who was named prime minister on Tuesday, was not involved in the decision to suspend Repsol's Peruvian operations, which had been put in place on Jan. 31.

Repsol said earlier on Thursday that it had filed the necessary paperwork to restart operations: a new contingency plan in case there is additional oil spilled. Peru has yet to comment on the submission.

The suspension came in the wake of an oil spill just off the coast of Lima last month, where over 10,000 barrels of oil were spilled onto the Pacific Ocean in Repsol's La Pampilla refinery.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo called it the worst ecological disaster in the country's recent memory. Repsol has said it will take until the end of February to finish cleaning up the spill.

La Pampilla is Peru's largest refinery and accounts for about 40% of Peruvian fuel.

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