THE Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) is stating that there is no risk of an oil spill from the vessel reportedly sinking in the Gulf of Paria.
In a release on Thursday evening, the ministry stated that the Nabarima was filled to capacity with 1.3 million barrels of crude oil.
It stated, “Initial reports from the Venezuelan authorities indicated that the vessel was upright and in a stable condition. There was no risk of an oil spill.”
The ministry noted that in its release on Wednesday, it stated that the Nabarima stores crude produced from the Corocoro field operated in a joint venture by PDVSA (74%) and ENI- Italian Multinational (26%).
It stated, “Production is normally stored in the FSO (floating storage offloading) for transshipment by oil tankers for export. This transshipment has stopped since the US sanctions.”
The release also noted that the Nabarima was a double hull vessel, “which should provide protection from spillage in the event that the vessel sinks.”
It stated, “Recent reports from the national press has stated that the vessel has tilted 5 degrees to the right and that it has sunk 14.5 meters at the water line.
“An ARGUS report dated September 2nd quotes a statement from ENI, the Italian Multinational energy company who has minority interest in the field. The report indicated that the FSO is stable and that the recent water leak has been solved. The report further stated that plans are afoot to transfer the crude oil to another vessel to further stabilise the FSO and that there is no risk of an oil spill.”
The ministry stated that it has initiated official communication to get independent verification of the status of the vessel and has also offered support through the Venezuelan embassy.
The release added, “The nation needs to be reminded that Venezuela is a sovereign state and Trinidad and Tobago cannot unilaterally enter Venezuelan territory to conduct any reconnaissance or other works without being invited to so do.
“There exists a bilateral agreement between Venezuela and Trinidad for an oil spill contingency plan, in the event that a genuine risk exists or an active spill occurs. This agreement will guide the action of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.”