FIRST-HAND LOOK: President general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, Ancel Roget, centre, speaks with a resident during a visit to Marabella where residents have been affected by the oil spill in the Guaracara River from Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. See Page 18 —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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Resident: We feel neglected

Conditions back to normal, says Petrotrin...

By \\\\\ Sandhya Santoo sandhya.santoo@trinidadexpress.com

Resident Davanand Lal, 51, of Diggity Trace, Penal says he feels forgotten and neglected by the State and Petrotrin. 

This despite State-owned Petrotrin stating that environmental conditions are back to normal at Well Wilson (WN 78) at the Penal/Barrackpore site.

Lal is complaining of neglect since the Marabella oil spill occurred on July 29, and he now has the added worry of his family’s health. Lal said no compensation has been given to him since the spill. He hired a private evaluator to estimate the extent of damage done to his property. He was also visited by a Petrotrin evaluator. 

On July 28, a two-inch union well head broke at Well Wilson (WN 78) in Penal releasing oil and gas. The erupted thick oil and gas pitched into the air, covering rooftops. 

Less than 48 hours after the oil spill in Penal residents of Marabella had to be evacuated as residual oil slop leaked into the Guaracara River. 

Lal said, “No one is concerned about us, the place still in a mess. They forget us here since the oil spill in Marabella and my family here is getting sick over this.” The Member of Parliament is Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who has not yet visited those affected. 

Lal said, “I understand she is the Prime Minister but nobody else come to see.”

Lal’s wife Chandrakalli Lal, 48, on Saturday sought medical attention through a private doctor where she was given intravenous therapy (commonly known as drips) after inhaling gas fumes. 

He said other family members have fallen ill, complaining of dizziness and nausea as the black crude remains covering his house and surroundings. 

Lal added that since little has been done by Petrotrin to clean up the area, his personal clean-up of his property and inhaling the crude and gas may have caused continued illness for his family as they are not equipped to clean the industrial material. 

Petrotrin in a release has stated operations at Well Wilson (WN 78) have returned to normal and residents have been advised that environmental conditions have reverted to normal.  

chronology of oil spills:

 December 17 - oil spill at Point Fortin affecting thousands and those dependent upon  the sea along the South Western Peninsula. 

December 19 - leak at  Platform 17 in Petrotrin’s Marine Operations East Field.

December 21 - leak at Rancho Quemado.

December 24 - two leaks were reported at Brighton Marine Field.

December 26 -  residents of Moruga reported oil emanating.

July 28 - two-inch well head broke at the Penal/Barrackpore Well Wilson (WN 78).

July 29 - oil leak on Tank MP6 used to store slop oil at Pointe-a-Pierre. 

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