Gulf of Paria Blowout! Marine Warning- Danger!
Date: July 7th , 2018
Fishermen of the area and mariners in general, are urgently warned that the volatile and highly flammable site of the erupting platform known as the Christmas tree (located 4.5 nautical miles from the Orange Valley/Carapichaima Landing Site) is unmarked, unlit and there are no present navigational warnings for oncoming vessels which are in danger. Vessels are warned to stay upwind of this gas plume which may ignite or explode and is highly noxious FFOS visited the site today,7th July 2018. We have video footage showing that this is an extremely dangerous and highly pressurized well rupture, spewing a gaseous aromatic hydrocarbon mixed with a muddy substance. This gaseous sludge is covering the sea for miles. Six days after this orphaned offshore oil/gas platform erupted the Ministry of Energy stated that they are still “trying to access which private company was in charge of that well before the Ministry took it over”. Does the Ministry not keep proper records of wells they have taken over? Is the Ministry incapable of responding to an emergency situation like this? Do we have the capacity to ensure public safety from the oil and gas sector? Who is the responsible party? Nothing has been done all week. When will this public endangerment be contained? There are literally hundreds of decades old, capped, orphaned or abandoned wells which may not have been properly decommissioned, and are corroding. This is not the first time this has happened. Tank 70 erupted in 2017 despite the warnings stated in the 2003, Shell Integrity Tank Assessment Report.
Where are the maintenance schedules for abandoned platforms or capped wells? When was the last time the Ministry of Energy did a safety inspection of the hundreds of abandoned wells in our maritime waters and onshore sites? There are emergency response measures outlined in the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan so why have they not been initiated? Being the First Responders to emergencies at sea, why haven’t our Coast Guard (CG) responded and set up any warning? Our vulnerable, voiceless communities of shrimpers, gill and seine netters, a-la-vive, banking and trawling fishers livelihoods are being jeopardized, and our families are being pauperized by a recklessly contaminated fishery.