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Petrotrin: $35m to clean up oil spills
The total cost for cleaning up last December’s oil spills may be $35 million, Jamaludin Khan, vice president, Exploration and Production at Petrotrin said yesterday.
“There have been ex-gratia payments made to fisher folk who were unable to go out and earn their livelihoods. To date, up to the end of January, we paid a total of $5 million in compensation. We expect that this will increase and by the time we finish rehabilitation, contractor fees, all the polishing and cleaning of the beach areas, we may run into another $12 million. We expect that this entire exercise will eventually cost us between $33 to $35 million,” he said.
Khan spoke yesterday on the second day of the T&T Energy Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain. As he delivered his presentation, the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) was staging a placard protest outside the venue for the second day straight calling for an independent enquiry into the oil spills. Khan said environmental disasters like the spills must never happen again. He said between December 17 and 29, Petrotrin reported 11 incidents.
“Hopefully this will never happen in our industry again. In our industry one spill is one too many,” he said. Khan said 120 labourers from the community were employed in cleaning up Point Sable, La Brea, and the energy company has done its best to assist affected communities. The oil spills polluted miles of beaches along Trinidad’s south western peninsula, The first was detected near La Brea and over the next few days Petrotrin confirmed at least 11 spills.