Sunday, February 25, 2018

Petrotrin’s response


Deterioration: Back to back pipe support on Pile Bent 30 severely deformed.

Mark Fraser

 The brief Petrotrin-issued bulletin put out on December 18 following reports of black oil washing up on the beaches along the south western coastline. The statement is instructive in what it does not say, like the No10 leak or the fact that it has full knowledge of over 7,000 barrels of unaccounted-for oil. 

“Following oil spill clean-up efforts yesterday, personnel at Petrotrin observed from an aerial as well as boat surveys conducted today, that there was no sheen or oil along the shoreline spanning Claxton Bay, San Fernando, Mosquito Creek and Otaheite.

“Petrotrin has mobilised all available resources to manage the spill response efforts in an effective and efficient manner and the situation is under control.

“Response efforts have been co-ordinated in collaboration with personnel from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs and the Environmental Management Agency. Petrotrin wishes to thank all those who responded in a timely manner.”

Excerpts of the December 19 media release. Again, no word about the No 10 accident.

“On December 18, Petrotrin received reports of fishermen’s boats being contaminated with oil at Coffee Beach, La Brea. Petrotrin’s Operations Security and HSE personnel responded by initiating containment and clean- up efforts which is ongoing. 

“The company has engaged the services of three contractors who are on site using heavy mechanical and other equipment to clean up the affected area. A fourth contractor with a crew of 25 community personnel trained in oil spill response, from the La Brea area, is also being mobilised.

“Environmentally friendly shoreline and mangrove cleaning solvents, as well as oil spill sorbent materials are currently being used in the clean-up efforts.

“The regulatory agencies, the EMA and the MEEA have been informed and are currently working in collaboration with Petrotrin in the clean-up exercise.

“The source of the spilled oil has not been determined and the assistance of the IMA is being utilised to fingerprint the oil to ascertain the source.”

Excerpts of the December 20 media release. First mention of the No 10 incident. No detail given, however, on the size of leak.

“Petrotrin’s management has expressed concern over the frequency of incidents at the company during the last week and has established teams to investigate each of the incidents.

“On December 17, a weld leak developed on No10 sea line at the Petrotrin Pointe-a-Pierre port. Later that same day a gasket on a 16-inch line on RP No.5 in Trinmar’s Main Field leaked and oil spilled into the sea.

“On December 18, Petrotrin received reports of oil at Coffee Beach/Carrat Shed areas in La Brea. On December 19, an oil leak was reported in the area of Platform 17. The spills that occurred at Pointe-a-Pierre, RP No 5 and Platform 17 while linked to the company’s operations were successfully contained.”