July 30, 2021

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Trinidad and Tobago awaits a report of the possible PDVSA oil spill

Photo: Efeagro / courtesy “Fishermen and Friends of the Sea” (FFOS)

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago hopes to have a report next week from the experts who sent to examine the possible oil spill from a PDVSA oil tanker, the Nabarima, stranded in the Gulf of Paria, the border between that country and the state. Venezuelan from Sucre (northeast).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Affairs of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) of Trinidad and Tobago, Amery Browne, informed local media on Wednesday that he hopes that by next week the three experts will have presented a report that, he stressed, could serve to reassure the public.

The tanker, which is estimated to store 55 million gallons of crude oil (more than 200 million liters or close to 1 million barrels), is stranded in jurisdictional waters of Venezuela, but in a border area with Trinidad and Tobago, which of registering an oil spill would be one of the most affected countries in the region, although not the only one.

Browne explained that the team was made up of experts from the Ministry of Energy and that the role of his department was to ensure that the doors were opened for the team in Venezuela.


It also indicated that the Ministry of Energy, as a preventive measure, completed an oil spill model in preparation for a hypothetical environmental disaster.

Media from Trinidad and Tobago refer to a model of a possible spill carried out by the local company Coastal Dynamics that points to a high probability that, in the event of a spill, the crude will be washed north and northwest in Venezuelan waters.

Coastal Dynamics director Frank Teelucksingh indicated that this hypothesis is based on the prevailing oceanographic and meteorological patterns in the Gulf of Paria.

Teelucksingh clarified that, however, there is also the possibility that a spill could lead the oil to the west coast of Trinidad and Tobago.

However, he emphasized that more accurate models need to be completed to determine all the areas that could be affected if the oil spills.


The Executive of Trinidad and Tobago announced on Monday that it follows with special attention how the situation of the Nabarima evolves, a floating crude storage unit, which according to regional media contains more than one million barrels of oil and is inclined with risk to capsize in the aforementioned place.

Although the Nabarima problem dates back more than 20 months, when the Venezuelan tanker was abandoned after the United States imposed strong sanctions on Caracas, news interest grew weeks ago after regional media denounced the danger of a potential spill.

Although the tanker was sailing under the Venezuelan flag, it was operated by Petrosucre, a joint company between PDVSA and the Italian oil company Eni.

The spokesman for the environmental group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea of ​​Trinidad and Tobago, Gary Aboud, pointed out that about 50,000 fishermen in that country depend on fishing in the Gulf of Paria for a living, so an oil spill would be dramatic.

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