THE Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries is currently monitoring the situation after a barge, the Liftboat Daniella, reportedly carrying some 900 barrels of diesel, capsized and sank to the sea floor in the Gulf of Paria.
The incident is said to have occurred off Heritage Petroleum’s North Field on Wednesday morning. Six people on board were rescued. There were no reported injuries.
The ministry said oilspil-response equipment is on standby in the event a spill response is required.
It said the owner of the vessel, Trinity Liftboat Services Ltd is demobilising the barge, with a focus on salvage and ensuring there are no oil spills during the process.
The Environmental Management Authority, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Coast Guard and Maritime Services Division have all been informed.
The ministry said at the time the vessel was not contracted to Heritage Petroleum. The company confirmed this on its Facebook page.
Heritage said the company received an SOS and responded. Those on board were rescued, taken to Marine Base and later transported for medical evaluation. It said no injuries were recorded.
Trinity Exploration and Production (Trinidad and Tobago) Ltd issued a media release distancing the company from the incident. In a statement signed by CEO Jeremy Bridglalsingh, Trinity Exploration said the vessel, which overturned off the west coast of Trinidad, was not affiliated to its company.
“Please be advised that neither Trinity Exploration and Production (TT) Ltd, its affiliates nor its subsidiaries are in any way responsible or connected to this vessel and the associated incident.”
Michael Brash, general manager of the Trinity Group of Companies, confirmed that around 8 am on Wednesday, its vessel Liftboat Daniella was preparing to depart from Heritage Petroleum’s Well S822 North Field
Brash said shortly afterwards, the boat developed a list.
“The vessel’s captain made a safe decision to abandon ship, whereby all crew and personnel were evacuated to a nearby vessel which transported them back to base in Point Fortin.
“There are no injuries recorded,” he confirmed.
He said by 9 am, the boat had capsized and sunk, no longer posing a risk to any Heritage Petroleum’s platform or installations.
“All protocols including pollution control measures have been implemented. An investigation is under way,” Brash said.