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Petrotrin to probe oil spill in South

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Petrotrin has set up a team to investigate an oil spill which occurred at its Pointe-a-Pierre operations yesterday morning. The team, which includes personnel from the company’s Health Safety and Environment and Corporate Communications Unit, are to determine the source of the leak. Following the discovery, all of the regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs and the Coast Guard were informed and visited the site.



Less than 200 barrels of the oil spilled was quickly contained near the Pointe-a-Pierre jetty. Late yesterday, Eric Mackie of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) confirmed the situation was under control and there was no damage to fishing vessels operating along the Gulf of Paria. 



Information about the spill came during the San Fernando statutory meeting when CEO Indarjit Singh read a statement sent to the local ODPM office by Petrotrin and a warning for the water taxi, fishermen and the yacht club to be on the alert. Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray also contacted the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo and San Fernando Regional Corporations to visit King’s Wharf, Mosquito Creek and Claxton Bay fishing ports to monitor the situation.


San Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein and a team visited King’s Wharf but there was no evidence of oil on the waters. President of the San Fernando Fishing Association Salim Gool said there was no effect on the fishing vessels. Gillian Friday, Petrotrin’s manager, corporate communications, said in a statement: “Loading of fuel oil commenced at approximately 2 am today (Monday) and ceased at 4 am.


“At 6.30 am, Petrotrin’s Health Safety and Environment Department was informed by port and marine services personnel within the Pointe-a-Pierre operations that oil was observed on the surface of the water. A leak was discovered and the line isolated.” She said sorbent booms were deployed at 8 am after which tugs using an oil spill dispersant were used to emulsify spilled oil in areas beyond the contained area. The incident did not disrupt the company’s operations.


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