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The minister said the incident "was still a great
mystery for us at the ministry and at Petrotrin."
He said investigations were continuing to determine
the source of the discovery, which he said was a
He said: "At this point we don t want to blame
anybody, we have not accused anybody of anything
and we don t want to make this into a political
According to Ramnarine, there were other spills
at Petrotrin installations at Pointe-a-Pierre and
Rancho Quemado and two at Trinidad Marine
Ltd (Trinmar) last week.
• December 17, 2013: A weld leak was discovered
on the No. 10 Sea Line at the Petrotrin, Pointe-
a-Pierre, Port during fuel oil bunkers loading oper-
ations for the barge Marabella.
• Later that same day a gasket on a line at Riser
Platform 5 in Trinmar s Main Field leaked and oil
spilled into the sea.
• December 18: Petrotrin received reports of oil
at the Coffee Beach/Carrat Shed Beach areas in
La Brea, affecting the beach and fishing vessels.
• The National Oil Spill Contingency Plan
(NOSCP) was triggered to the Tier Two Level and
an Incident Command Team, comprising the Envi-
ronmental Management Authority (EMA), the
Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA),
the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), the Coast
Guard and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA), began its assessment of
the spill and clean-up activities.
• December 19: An oil leak was discovered in
the area of Platform 17 in Petrotrin s Trinmar
Operations East Field.
• December 21: Trinity Oil and Gas reported
that several valves on well-site tanks were dis-
covered opened at its Petrotrin WD-2 Lease Oper-
atorship Block in Rancho Quemado.
• The spills that occurred at Pointe-a-Pierre,
Riser Platform 5 and Platform 17 in Petrotrin s
Trinmar Operations were successfully contained
and the clean-up exercise is continuing. On
December 19, clean-up activities at the Port at
Pointe-a-Pierre were completed and terminated.
• December 22: the Minister of Energy triggered
the NOSCP at the Tier Three Level to bring in
Monday December 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 20th DECEMBER, 2013
President general of the Oil-
fields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) Ancel Roget says
heads must roll at Petrotrin for
the "environmental disaster"
caused by the oil spill which
continued to ravage the south-
western coastline of T&T yes-
Addressing a media confer-
ence at OWTU headquarters,
Paramount Building, Circular
Road, San Fernando, yesterday,
Roget said Petrotrin has failed
to implement a proper emer-
gency response to the disaster.
"To date, the oil spill in La
Brea has not been contained.
They have not identified the
source of that leak...the entire
coastline community is at risk
because their contingency plan
is woefully inadequate," Roget
The oil spill began on Tuesday
at Pointe-a-Pierre when a ten-
inch main ruptured. Petrotrin
said that oil spill was contained.
However, the company said
since then there were four sep-
The major spill, which has
devastated Carrat and Queen s
Beach in La Brea, is still causing
damage to the coastline and
affecting residents. Petrotrin said
it was yet to determine the
source of that spill.
Roget said: "It is a major envi-
ronmental disaster taking place
there (La Brea) and they do not
want to take responsibility. They
are the owners of the fields, they
Yesterday, Roget, who was
flanked by OWTU executives,
came to the defence of Petrotrin
employees after the state-run
oil company claimed that sab-
otage was behind the frequency
of oil spills.
"We do not concur with the
company s offering of the excuse
that it is some kind of sabotage
or otherwise," he said.
"We want to put on the table
clearly what we believe those
incidents to be; we want to say
there is a massive cover-up of
the Petrotrin management to
shield their friends, the lease
"Do not blame the workers."
What the country was seeing
at La Brea and along the coast-
line, Roget said, was the result
of Petrotrin s lack of monitoring
of lease operators.
Roget said lease operators had
been allowed to work "without
scrutiny, monitoring and unreg-
"We are saying they must not
escape scrutiny and monitoring
and a thorough investigation to
determine whether they are cul-
pable in this regard also," he said.
He added that the OWTU
had condemned the level of poor
health, safety and environment
standards at the level of lease
The OWTU boss said the
blame for the oil "fiasco" should
be laid at Petrotrin manage-
ment s feet for reducing security
at field operations, both offshore
He said: "Petrotrin is short
by some 273 security officers.
In Trinmar, you have 70 security
officers...Short, understaffed in
the security arrangements to
take care of very multi-billion
assets to ensure oil and gas is
Roget said the union had
complained about the lack of
security on numerous occasions
and nothing had been done.
He said: "Workers were
attacked while on duty on
morning shifts and even broad
daylight, robbed on the job.
Pumping jacks and electrical
cables cut and stolen from fields.
All of these would have occurred
because the company removed
the level of security and it is
open season for the bandits."
Roget said the union will begin
an independent assessment of
the amount of oil lost and the
cost to Petrotrin.
As oil spill wreaks havoc in La Brea...
Roget puts blame
on Petrotrin bosses
Employees of State-owned Petrotrin pull a containment boom as
they try to contain the spread of the oil spill at Queen's Beach La
Brea yesterday. Petrotrin has now entered into it's sixth day of
clean up of the oil spill along the south-western coastline which is
affecting communities from La Brea to Cedros.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
still great mystery
From Page A1
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