Cleanup continues following fuel oil tank leak: Petrotrin

Supplier says around 20 barrels of fuel oil escaped from a storage tank.



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Updated on 25 Apr 2017 13:28 GMT

Bunker supplier Petrotrin says cleanup efforts are continuing following the discovery of a leak at one of its fuel oil storage tanks at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, April 23.

The state-owned energy company says the spill has been largely contained within the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery area.

A leak at one of its fuel oil storage tanks was detected at around 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, which "resulted in the escape of some of the contents of the tank", Petrotrin said.

Some 20 barrels of fuel oil were said to have escaped from the tank, according to initial estimates by the fuel supplier.

"Aerial surveys and monitoring have indicated that some oil leaked from the Pointe-a-Pierre operations and has made its way out to sea," the company said in an update on Monday.

"Petrotrin continues its ongoing activities to contain and recover the oil and minimize impact to the environment.

"The company continues to work closely with the regulatory agencies, the Environmental Management Authority and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries to ensure the exercise is completed in the shortest time-frame and in accordance with approved standards."

Earlier this month, on April 3, Petrotrin confirmed that it was resuming bunkering operations following the wet lease charter of the tanker Valme B, which arrived in Trinidad on March 29.

The double-hulled Valme B has the capacity to store up to 20,000 barrels of fuel oil, 6,900 barrels of high-sulphur marine gas oil (HSMGO) and 18,800 barrels of low-sulphur marine gas oil (LSMGO). Its pumping rates are: 6,500 barrels-per-hour (bph) for fuel oil, 700 bph for HSMGO and 6,500 bph for LSMGO.

"The wet lease charter arrangement will allow for Petrotrin's representatives to be on board the vessel along with the vessel's own crew to deliver bunkers to ships in our local waters as well as offshore Trinidad. It also allows for the possibility of bunker/cargo delivery regionally," Petrotrin said three weeks ago.

The vessel will be on hire to Petrotrin for a one-year period, initially, while arrangements are being made for purchase of the company's own double-hull bunker barge to replace the Marabella - a single-hull barge that was decommissioned in September 2015.