Strong quake in Peru kills one person, disrupts some oil operations

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The 8.0 magnitude earthquake that afflicted Peru ended the life of one man and destroyed many homes. It also happened to disrupt the operations of an oil company.

As it was the biggest quake to affect Peru since 2007, it affected the state-owned Petroperu company. According to them, the quake broke a pipe in the Talara refinery by the Pacific coast. This led to a minor leak that suspended pumping operations in the Station 1 facility in Loreto. The company is doing what it can to assess the damage that was found there.

Other oil companies also reported on how their operations were going. While Petroperu was affected, the same could not be said for Frontera Energy. The company operates the largest oil block in Loreto.

A spokeswoman pointed out that no damage was incurred on any of its installations. The highway in Cajamarca was shown to have large fissures on it. Large piles of debris blocked many of the roads.

The earthquake was particularly devastating for the Latin American country due to its proximity to the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place. The quake had an “intermediate depth” at around 110 kilometers or 68 miles. This kind of depth would only cause a greater number of shallower tremors than surface-level damage.

Power cuts were also reported from various electric power plants in the Amazonian area close to Loreto. There were also images of damaged walls and shaking buildings, as well as the collapse of one of the local bridges. The quake’s effects also extended to Ecuador.

As the oldest oil producer in South America, Peru has 582 million barrels of proven oil reserves in January 2012, and this has reached up to 533 million barrels in January 2011. Most of their oil supply is based in the Amazon region.

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