T&T Energy Ministry: Leaking Gulf of Paria well to be fixed

Coralling of wax-like foam mousse in the Gulf of Paria being undertaken.

(Trinidad Express) Almost two weeks after the leak at the Couva Marine 2 well ruptured in the Gulf of Paria, pre-abandonment works have begun.

According to the Ministry of Energy in a release, works began on Sunday after the completion of risk assessment, fabrication of the necessary fittings and equipment to allow for safe operations occurred.

The works are expected to last for 14 days.

Well-controls specialist from Boots & Coots Services has been offering technical advice to state-owned company, Petrotrin on the matter.

Boots & Coots Services is one of the leaders in the global energy industry for well control services and has over 40 years of experience in addressing the industry’s most challenging well control problems, stated the Ministry.

On July 4, the decommissioned well located 4.5 nautical miles off the coast in the Orange Field area ruptured.

The well, which the Ministry said was not part of Petrotrin’s assets, began emitting hydrogen emissions and many fisherfolk and marine interests have been exercising caution in the area.

The Ministry said the response team have been attempting to contain and recover the spilled hydrocarbon material being emitted.

“These activities include corralling the wax-like, foam mousse and then vacuuming it into intermediate bulk containers stored on the vessels engaged in the operations. Petrotrin’s expertise in this regard has been supplemented by personnel from Oil Spill Response Limited, one of Petrotrin’s external partners for oil-spill response,” it stated.

The Ministry is advising the marine craft operators and other users of the seas maintain a three nautical miles radius of the well during the period of works.

The prohibited area has been reduced by the Maritime Services Division from the original radius of five nautical miles from the leaking well to three nautical miles.

The Ministry stated that the Ella Victoria and the Sea Porpoise will be utilised for the abandonment process. Other workboats would also be utilised intermittently for transportation of resources from Trinmar Terminal to the well site.

Additional warning buoys have been deployed.

Both the Coast Guard and Petrotrin security vessels will continue patrolling the area.

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