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Canada Venezuelan oil tanker threatens to spill 1.3 million barrels, Trinidad and Tobago reassuring

19:25  23 october  2020
19:25  23 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Le Nabarima, le 16 octobre dans le golfe de Paria. © REUTERS Nabarima, October 16 in the Gulf of Paria.

A troubled Venezuelan oil tanker containing 1.3 million barrels threatens to create an environmental disaster. But the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago want to be reassuring and believe that the ship is in stable condition.

Damaged Venezuelan tanker that threatens to spill 1.3 million barrels of crude , in the waters between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, is "stable" and "without risk of sinking" , assured Thursday, October 22 the authorities of this Caribbean archipelago.

"The vessel is upright and stable, with no visible risk of sinking," , Trinidadian Energy Minister Franklyn Khan said during a video conference in Port of Spain.

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The Nabarima has been anchored in the Gulf of Paria, between the Venezuelan coasts and those of Trinidad and Tobago, for several months. On an October 16 video broadcast by the NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, we can see the Nabarima, a 264 m long, steeply tilted oil storage vessel.

Nabarima Sinking Confirmed! #ffos #nabarima #oilspillthreat #urgent https://t.co/b5FWVcJgJD pic.twitter.com/CZoih1WuVp

- ffostt (@ ffostt1) October 16, 2020

"A threat to the ecosystem of the region ”

The Nabarima is owned by Petrosucre, a company owned 74% by PDVSA, a Venezuelan state-owned company, and 26% by Italian Eni.

Venezuelan opposition leaders and oil sector unionists have warned of a possible "environmental disaster" , although PDVSA has previously denied that the vessel's situation could represent "a threat to the region's ecosystem ".

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A team of three "experts" boarded the ship on Tuesday after the government of Nicolás Maduro gave the green light to do so on Monday, the Trinidadian minister said.

The results revealed that " there was no water entry on the vessel noted by the team, which means that the entry reported in early September no longer exists" , said Mr Khan .

“False news”

On August 12, continued Mr. Girot, several PDVSA employees had already reported that the vessel had entered an 8% bank. Similarly, the engine room was flooded and the bilge pumps were out of service. PDVSA called these comments "fake news" .

According to Mr. Khan, the delegation reported that maintenance tasks were being carried out on the vessel, such as repair and replacement of pumps and electric motors.

Uncontrolled oil spills are frequent in Venezuela due to the lack of maintenance, or even the abandonment, of infrastructure.

Production, by far Venezuela's largest source of income, has grown from 3.2 million barrels per day twelve years ago to 400,000 barrels per day today.

The Venezuelan opposition and analysts point to corruption and mismanagement to explain this collapse. The socialist government of Nicolas Maduro puts forward the American embargo on Venezuelan crude .

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