Papa Bois Conservation published five pictures of oil-slicked beaches, on its Facebook page yesterday, describing them as, “The images Petrotrin does not want you to see. The Petrotrin oil spill reached Venezuela.
The photos are dated May 2. Look at the lack of protective clothing for the Venezuelans doing the clean-up. 50 dead turtles reportedly washed up near Guiria.” Some of these same pictures were also published via a press release by the FFOS on Tuesday. Corporate Secretary Gary Aboud said the images showed Venezuela’s Guiria beaches covered in oil spilled from Petrotrin’s Tank 70 storage tank, which ruptured on April 23. “Venezuelan sources”, Aboud said, informed him that 50 marine turtles died as a result of the spill. However, the pictures he attached to the email showed only one dead turtle, covered in oil.
Petrotrin announced on April 30, that its spilled oil had indeed entered Venezuelan waters which prompted the Ministry of Energy to activate the TT/Venezuela Bilateral Oil Spill Plan. The plan places responsibility for clean up on Venezuela after which both countries would decide who would bear costs. Up to press time last evening, the stateowned company did not acknowledge the veracity of the images despite their appearance two days prior.
Aboud again contested Petrotrin’s claim that “a mere 300 barrels of oil” were spilled, saying the figure was closer to 10,000 barrels.
He said because oil spills occur almost every three months, “an example must be made of this delinquent State entity. Unless negligent officers and companies are held accountable by OSHA and other authorities and agencies, they will continue to drown all of us in an endless sea of oil,” he said.
Petrotrin officials yesterday told Newsday that because the oil had entered Venezuelan waters, deliberations were being handled by the Ministry of Energy. Attempts to reach Energy Minister Franklin Khan and officials of the ministry’s communications department, for comment were unsuccessful