Friday, August 18, 2017

Petrotrin's oil spill reaches Venezuela's coastline

...Energy Ministry monitoring

These are the pelicans roosting near the mouth of the Guaracara River which are being impacted by the spill from Petrotrin's ruptured storage tank at Pointe a Pierre. Photo: Richard Charan


PETROTRIN'S oil spill at Pointe-a Pierre has reached the east coast of Venezuela.

This according to the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) who stated that it is closely monitoring the oil spill which has now spread from Trinidad to the  Venezuelan maritime boundary.

The Ministry stated that it is tracking the trajectory of the oil spill through computer based models of aerial and maritime surveys as the spill is moving in a westerly direction towards the border.

It said that through diplomatic channels, the Ministry has alerted the Venezuelan authorities.

Venezuela has confirmed oil sightings in the vicinity of Guiria on Sunday.

“In addition to containment, recovery and clean-up activities, the management of the spill included tracking its trajectory via computer based models complemented by daily aerial and marine surveys. These surveys indicated movement of the spill in a westerly direction towards the T&T/Venezuelan maritime boundary. The MEEI initiated the activation of the T&T/ Venezuela Bilateral Oil Spill Plan via diplomatic channels through the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and at the operational level with officials of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

The Venezuelan authorities conducted counterpart daily aerial surveys which confirmed initial sightings of oil in Venezuelan waters on April 27, ,” it stated.

Venezuela is now treating with the oil and the impacted areas.

The MEEI said that it will continue to communicate with the Venezuelan authorities and stated owned Petrotrin.

On April 23, over 300 barrels of the black crude leaked into the Gulf of Paria from Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Wildlfie was found covered with oil and rescue efforts by local wildlife centres are underway.

The Ministry stated that since the incident, a  National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) was activated to a Tier 2 level, which allowed for maximum use of in country resources on April 24.

The MEEI is employing the Incident Management System to manage this spill in coordination with Petrotrin and other Government Agencies such as the Environmental Management Authority, Occupational Safety Health Authority , Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard in accordance with the NOSCP.

Daily monitoring and reporting on oil spill response efforts both in Trinidad &Tobago and in Venezuela will continue in accordance with established protocols and the public will be advised on any further developments accordingly, stated the Ministry.

Petrotrin is working on its clean-up operations and containment of the oil.

Petrotrin stated that the Oiled Wildlife Management Plan remains in effect and are continuing to work with established rehabilitation centres for birds and other wildlife which were affected by the oil spill.