Environment Pollution in Trinidad and Tobago on May 02 2018 03:48 AM (UTC).
Divers were up to late yesterday trying to clamp a major oil leak from an offshore line at the Trinmar 694 Northfield Soldado, off the south western peninsula of Trinidad. A source said up to last night, Petrotrin officials were engaged in an emergency meeting to discuss the frequency of leaking lines in the productive Soldado Fields. Expecting that over 30 barrels of oil had spilled into the sea over a 24-hour period, members of the Oil Spill Contingency crew tried to isolate the oil line as divers tried to fix the leak. This is the second leak that occurred in as many months. On March 2, the Ministry of Energy announced that it had isolated a leak which occurred in its Trinmar operations, in the Main Soldado Field. Petrotrin's Health and Safety personnel, on board the vessel Gulf Command, undertook an assessment of the leak which was estimated to be 95 per cent sheen and five per cent brown patches. The volume of the spill has been estimated to be about 10 barrels and the distance of the spill from the shoreline was 4.26 nautical miles. Air surveillance showed that the spill did not make it to shore. However, Cedros fishermen said they wanted Petrotrin to inspect and fix all ageing infrastructure in Soldado to ensure there are no further spills. President of the Icacos Fishing Association Esook Ali said fishermen were already bracing for further loss of fish stocks. "This spill will affect us because every time there is an oil spill, we get oil in our nets and in our boats. Even worse, the fishes keep away from the area where there is the spill so we cannot get a good catch," Ali said. He noted, "We are already dealing with piracy and crime on the high seas. Petrotrin needs to sort out this and pay the fishermen for the losses. We have no fish to hold in our waters and if we cross the borders to go to Venezuela we are getting caught," Ali said. He added that villagers of Cedros and Icacos have rescued hundreds of Venezuelans over the years. "It is time for our government to negotiate a fishing treaty for the local fishermen," Ali said. He also called on Petrotrin, Trinmar and the Ministry of Energy to show consideration for the environment by ensuring that there are no more leaks.