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Workers of Oil Mop Environmental Services (OMES) suction oil from a spill at Magdalena Grand Resort, in Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, February 16, 2024. REUTERS/Clement George Williams

Workers of Oil Mop Environmental Services (OMES) suction oil from a spill at Magdalena Grand Resort, in Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, February 16, 2024. REUTERS/Clement George Williams NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

T&T Salvage to Recover Sunken Oil Barge in Tobago

Reuters
Total Views: 2431
February 20, 2024
Reuters

HOUSTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Trinidad and Tobago has hired two remediation and salvage firms to help clean up an ongoing oil spill off Tobago and salvage the leaking barge, the country’s Ministry of Energy said on Tuesday.

It has been almost two weeks since the oil spill was first discovered off Tobago’s Atlantic coast after a barge ran aground on a reef. The spill has entered the Caribbean Sea, threatening nearby Venezuela and Grenada.

Tobago’s Tourism, Fishing Hit as Oil Slick Spreads Across Caribbean

“An international partnership comprised of T&T Salvage LLC and QT Environmental Inc, both subject matter experts and licensed oil spill removal organizations, has been engaged on-water oil recovery, survey, and plans to conduct cargo lightering and wreck removal,” the ministry said.

An oil spill in Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, is seen in this handout photo released February 10, 2024. Office of the Chief Secretary - THA/Handout via REUTERS
An oil spill in Tobago Island, Trinidad and Tobago, is seen in this handout photo released February 10, 2024. Office of the Chief Secretary – THA/Handout via REUTERS

The barge, which was being towed by a tug boat when it went aground, carried as much as 35,000 barrels of fuel oil, Tobago officials have said. The tug and its operator have not been disclosed. 

Several beach and golf resorts in Tobago popular with foreign tourists have closed access to the ocean. The nearby Scarborough cruise ship port is being protected from the spill by containment booms.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Minister Stuart Young on Friday told Parliament the government was trying to identify the owners of the barge and has sent diplomatic notes to the governments of Panama, Aruba and Guyana. The government believes the barge was being towed from Panama to Guyana via Aruba when it sank. 

(Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024.

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