Trinidad Continues Oil Spill Probe

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 28, 2013

Above: Trinidad Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The probe into the source of this week’s oil spills in Trinidad is continuing, according to the Ministry of Energy Affairs.

The Ministry said Friday that it had received a preliminary report from the Institute of Marine Affairs on fingerprinting analysis of samples from the affected coastline in La Brea and Pointe-a-Pierre; the report is “currently under review,” it said.

“The National Oil Spill Contingency Incident Command Team (NOSCP ICT) is currently investigating the possible sources of all reported oil spills and is expecting the results early next week on trajectory modeling work currently being conducted by Environmental Sciences Limited,” the Ministry said in a statement. “A more definitive position on the origin of the oil spills should be available on receipt and analysis of this additional information.”

Evidence from the preliminary report indicates that the oil sample is a “Bunker C type oil,” meaning a product of the crude refining process, the Ministry said.

“That suggests that the source of the La Brea spill is unlikely to have been discharged from an oil well or a crude oil pipeline,” the Ministry said.
The government is continuing cleanup efforts on Trinidad’s southern coast, with help from US-based Oil Spill Response Limited.

Of 11 beaches on the southern coast, cleanup efforts on seven are more than 80 percent complete, while one beach was not impacted, two had no visible oil on the shoreline and another is 5 percent complete.

Trinidad launched cleanup operations in the Pointe Sabe area on Friday.

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