External assistance sought as offshore gas leak cleanup continues
Cleanup operations continue following a leak at the Couva Marine 2 Well.
Personnel with the Energy Ministry and Petrotrin’s Incident Command team have been monitoring the leaking wellhead and assessing the nature and impact of the hydrocarbon emissions.
The leak, which was initially reported last Wednesday, is a combination of gas and light oil.
The incident command team met on Sunday to manage the impacts of the incident and to safely bring the matter to a safe conclusion.
The focus of the Incident Command Team over the past few days has been on analysing available data on the wells in the area and the development of strategies to bring the well under control. In doing so, the safety of personnel has been the number one priority.
A number of possible scenarios, including the drilling of a relief well, have been developed and proposed solutions are being evaluated.
The primary considerations in evaluating the various strategies have been the health and safety of personnel and to mitigate further negative impact on the environment.
In this regard, assistance has been sought from the multinational energy companies operating here, as well as foreign entities with which Petrotrin is affiliated, who have experience with the management of oil spills and well control incidents.
As of Sunday, an orange substance, which appears to be emulsified oil, appeared on Carrat Shed and Coffee beaches.
Containment booms with skimmers are being deployed in the area of the leaking well and cleanup crews were mobilised to effect remedial work in any affected areas.
Visits were made to the Carrat Shed and Coffee beaches to determine potential impact.
The Director of Maritime Services has issued an advisory to marine craft operators that “extreme caution is advised and requesting that they maintain a distance of 5 nautical miles”.
This advisory will remain in effect until the situation is resolved. Both Petrotrin and the Coast Guard will maintain patrols in the area and aerial and marine surveillance exercises will continue.
The Ministry urges fisherfolk and other marine craft operators to observe the maritime advisory and to stay clear of the area to avoid injury and also to allow those involved in containment and control activities to do so without impediment.
The Ministry assures that all necessary measures are being taken to ensure that a solution is obtained to repair the leak, and will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.
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