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Petrotrin finds no link from 4 incidents

 State-owned oil company Petrotrin has launched an investigation into a series of oil spills along the Gulf of Paria in the past week.

The company stated that surveillance exercises conducted by air and sea have not established a connection among the four incidents. 

The oil-stained waters were observed off Pointe-a-Pierre, near the refinery and along the south-western peninsula.

Petrotrin reported that on Tuesday a leak developed on the No. 10 Sea Line at the Pointe-a-Pierre port during fuel oil bunkers loading operations for barge Marabella.

“Later that same day, a gasket on a 16” line on Riser Platform 5 in Trinmar’s Main Field leaked and oil spilled into the sea. 

On Wednesday, Petrotrin received reports of oil at the Coffee Beach/Carrat Shed Beach areas in La Brea, affecting the beach and fishing vessels. 

On Thursday, an oil leak was reported in the area of Platform 17 in Petrotrin’s Trinmar Operations East Field,” the company stated.

The spills that occurred at Pointe-a-Pierre and in Trinmar, linked to the company’s operations, were successfully contained, Petrotrin stated. 

The source of the spill in La Brea is still undetermined.

The clean-up exercise in La Brea is expected to be completed within a 24-hour period.

Petrotrin stated preliminary laboratory tests conducted on samples of oil taken from the spill in the La Brea area suggest it did not originate from Pointe-a-Pierre or Riser Platform 5 and Platform 17 in the Trinmar area.

The six aerial and sea surveillance exercises conducted over the past few days have also confirmed that the leak at Pointe-a-Pierre did not go towards La Brea, the company stated.

“During the past week, the tides and winds have been in a south-westerly direction which also indicates that the spill could not have emanated from the Trinmar Fields. 

“Although the source of the spill in La Brea is still undetermined, Petrotrin has mobilised all available resources to manage the spill response efforts,” Petrotrin said.

The company has engaged four contractors to work alongside operations personnel to assist with containment and clean-up efforts at the site. 

“Additional resources are being deployed and the company has engaged some of the affected residents to also assist in the clean-up process,” it added.

Petrotrin stated the company has been providing support to residents and guidance on safety practices during the period of containment and clean-up.

Affected residents requiring medical attention were treated at an adjacent Lake Asphalt facility in Brighton. 

The company stated 25 people were treated, 24 were discharged and one had to be provided with further care. 

Trained counsellors from Petrotrin Employee Assistance Programme Services Ltd (PEAPSL) were made available to residents. 

Petrotrin is also exploring the possibility of temporary relocation of the affected residents with the local government representatives for the area.

“As previously stated, the source of the spill in La Brea is still undetermined at this time. However, Petrotrin will continue the clean-up exercise and continue to ensure that it is conducted in a manner that minimises the impact on residents, surrounding communities and the environment,” the company stated.

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