Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 29th 2013 Contents news
December 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Thick blankets of crude oil float-
ing two miles off the Pointe-a-
Pierre jetty have left fishermen
wondering whether a tenth oil leak
has developed in the Gulf of Paria.
The disaster, which Petrotrin offi-
cials suspect is man-made, has
affected hundreds of residents, fish-
ermen, plant and marine life. The
oil, which spread from Pointe-a-
Pierre to Icacos, is being restrained
by containment booms, while envi-
ronmental-friendly solvents and oil-
spill sorbent materials are being used
to aid in the clean-up efforts.
Captain Amitabh Dookeran and
Daniel Willichen said they were fish-
ing aboard a 30-foot pirogue called
Galtero, off the Pointe-a-Pierre jetty
when their nets became swathed
Boat owner Mitch Ching
Kung Chew said he was puz-
zled by the location of the
leak. He said if it was an
old spill, the sea cur-
rents would have
caused it to spread
Asked why he had continued fish-
ing knowing that the sea was con-
taminated with oil, Chew said his
captain and crew depended on the
sea for their survival.
"They doing this all their life. They
have no other source of income, and
this is why we went out," Chew said.
He added that his crew had fished
in that area several days before and
there was no spill. Chew also said
T&T was too advanced in technology
and experienced in oil drilling for such
accidents to occur so frequently.
Last evening, Petrotrin teams
were busy checking all port and
marine facilities in the Gulf of Paria
to determine if there was a new leak.
Since December 17, when the first
two leaks were spotted, land and air
surveillance have been boosted.
Meanwhile, at La Brea and
Granville, clean-up efforts continued.
La Brea resident Onika Branka
renewed her call for relocation saying
Coffee beach was no longer habit-
able. She said even though crews
were working every day to clean up
the spill, more oil was continuing to
flow. She said residents were suf-
fering from diarrhoea and nausea
because of the spill. During a press
conference on Boxing Day, President
General of the Oilfield Workers Trade
Union Ancel Roget accused Petrotrin
of covering up the spill. He blamed
lease operator Trinity Exploration
and Production for the environmen-
tal damage, saying Petrotrin had
reduced security by almost 80 per
cent, leaving the company s assets
open to thieves, saboteurs and plun-
derers. Petrotrin in a statement said
samples have been sent to the US
to determine the source of the leak.
A temporary shelter has also been
established at the La Brea Commu-
nity Centre where meals, food ham-
pers and toiletries are being distrib-
uted to residents.
IT'S NOT US---
Meanwhile, lease operator
Trinity Exploration and Production
yesterday distanced itself from
the nine oil spills.
The energy company, with
interests in the UK and off the
Gulf of Paria, said the spills never
originated from its operations.
Communications manager, Ann
Marie Ganness, said, "A leak of
this scale would represent a
sizeable portion of Trinity's daily
production. If the oil were ours we
would be obliged, by law, to report
a significant shortfall in
Ganness added, "We continue
to monitor all operations
throughout our locations ensuring
that our health, safety and
environmental policies are
Ganness said the company was
listed on the London Stock
Exchange and would be duty-
bound to report such a dip in its
"Trinity's production has been
unaffected during this period," she
The company, she said, would
continue to work with all
stakeholders to provide assistance
where required. (See Page A5)
...as more oil
PM did not go to NY on private jet
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar boarded a Caribbean Airlines
flight BW 520 which left Trinidad for New York at 12.35 am yesterday.
The Prime Minister left the country to visit her ailing sister. She did not
use a private plane as was previously reported. The error is regretted.
Daniel Downey, a fisherman on the Daltero fishing boat at Kings Wharf, San Fernando, shows a net soiled by oil. Daniel
claims the net was sullied while fishing four miles away from Petrotrin's Point-a-Pierre facilities on Friday night.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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