Published On: Wed, Apr 26th, 2017

Probe into Trinidad oil spill that’s worse than first thought

Frank Ward (Dr)PORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago’s oil company Petrotrin says the equivalent of 300 barrels of oil actually leaked from a ruptured storage tank on Sunday – 15 times more than the amount it had initially indicated.

There had been suggestions, based on the spread of the oil in the waters of the Gulf of Paria, and oil drenched seagulls and marine life, that there was much more than the 20 barrels of oil which the oil company initially leaked into the sea.

And Petrotrin confirmed it in a statement yesterday, saying that “estimates from the Incident Command Centre indicate that an estimated 300 barrels had entered the sea”.

It added that it is continuing containment and cleanup activities.

“Cognizant of our responsibility to ensure the clean-up is completed in a timely manner and with minimal impact to the environment, our clean-up crews are working around the clock and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Plan has been mobilized and implemented,” the company said.

According to Energy Minister Franklin Khan, the majority of the spilled oil was contained within the refinery, but the rest escaped into the marine environment.

And he told the Senate yesterday that there would be an investigation to determine why the containment had failed.

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