Burst Shell Oil Pipeline – Oil Heading For Barbados Coast

oistins_275.jpg

From The Nation News…

Since 1995, farmers have complained that the seven-mile oil pipe from Oistins to Grantley Adams International Airport has burst on several occasions, spilling high-grade refined kerosene into the irrigation water of farmers in the area.

"The latest test that Shell has done has shown that the oil has been moving out of the agricultural area and into the coastal zone. So this is now a national issue where one of these days Barbadians may find out that they go down to Miami Beach and come out with oil on their bodies.

"The whole coral reef along the southern coast is also in danger. This is not just our struggle, it is a struggle for every householder who lives in Atlantic Shores and on the South Coast.

"Tests have shown that there are oil deposits half-mile from Gibbons Boggs."

Arrindel Evelyn – Spokesman for the 70-plus farmers affected by the oil leakage, as quoted in The Nation News.

The farmers were protesting the other day because they say that Shell Oil is stalling on agreeing to a monetary settlement. Whatever happens for the farmers and their settlement, it seems that the spilled oil is heading for the water table, the coast and the coral reefs offshore.

Our question… just what has the government done to protect the thousands of other citizens who will be impacted by the Shell Oil pipeline spills?

UPDATED

Shell has just released a response to the protest – but in so doing, they have confirmed that their spilled oil is in the ground. As far as Shell is concerned… there's no reason to worry about that spilled oil.

Saying his organisation was committed to the protection of the environment, he dismissed reports that the remaining oil was a threat to the coastlines. He continued, "We have carried out investigations in the Gibbons area, and contrary to the recent report carried in the Press, results have indicated that the remaining oil is not an imminent threat to the coastal zone."

… from Barbados Advocate article here.

I feel better already!

photo by Shona: Tanker at Oistins, Barbados.

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

8 responses to “Burst Shell Oil Pipeline – Oil Heading For Barbados Coast

  1. John

    BFP: Our question… just what has the government done to protect the thousands of other citizens who will be impacted by the Shell Oil pipeline spills?

    One other question needs to be asked. Does the Opposition even know about the spill? Can’t recall hearing anything from them.

  2. BFP

    Opposition? What’s an “Opposition”, John?

    I don’t think we have one of those… whatever it is.

    Way back when, I remember hearing something about that word, but it has been so long that I have forgotten what it was supposed to be.

  3. Comment Maker

    Copied from the Barbados Advocate:

    “Saying his organisation was committed to the protection of the environment, he dismissed reports that the remaining oil was a threat to the coastlines. He continued, “We have carried out investigations in the Gibbons area, and contrary to the recent report carried in the Press, results have indicated that the remaining oil is not an imminent threat to the coastal zone.”

    “Shell has had continuous dialogue with the relevant authorities, including the Coastal Zone Management Unit, to ensure that they are all kept up to date on these matters,” Hart stated.

    He continued: “Shell has submitted to the relevant authorities a proposal for carrying out a final and comprehensive impact study, and consequent remediation plan. We have been awaiting approval of that plan, so that we can proceed with its implementation. We understand and share the concerns of the farmers, and all of the other stakeholders in the matter, but must act within the mandate given to us by the relevant authorities.”

  4. ross

    11 years later!!!!!

  5. John

    The natural flow of ground water is to the coast.

    The pipeline from what I remember goes up Thornbury Hill and to the tank farm at Grantley Adams. I would guess it would travel along Gibbons Ridge, but I can’t remember the route of the recent trenching.

    Gibbons Boggs is downhill of the ridge and on the way to the coast, just think of the lay of the land.

    If the farmers are saying they picked up the effects of the burst in the groundwater 11 years ago, it would take a brave individual to state that the contamination won’t get to the coast. That ground water has been used for generations. The old Aeromotor fanmills on the wells up Sayers Cort are testimony to this.

    Maybe it has already and hasn’t caused any problems so it can be said that the “remaining oil is not an imminent threat to the coastal zone.”

    Hope we get the full story.

    This is an example of necessary development and the problems it can create. If the costs outweigh the benfits, we are ahead, but let us know. If not let us know the score and the consequences.

    I have heard mutterings about the issue of the oil for years but no newspaper or opposition MP has brought the issue to the fore and dealt with it openly, fairly and maturely.

    Eleven years is ridiculous.

    There will be good photos in Barbados Photo Gallery taken from the helicopter which will allow an appreciation of the lay of the land to be had.

    Anyone know the age of the old pipeline from Oistins to the Airport and the recommended replacement age?

  6. John

    Under the headline, “Hoteliers bare all at AGM” in the Nation News of June 09, 2006, Trevor Yearwood reports on the recently held AGM of the BHTA.

    http://bararchive.bits.baseview.com/archive_detail.php?archiveFile=./pubfiles/bar/archive/2006/June/09/LocalNews/21035.xml&start=0&numPer=20&keyword=martineau&sectionSearch=&begindate=1%2F1%2F1994&enddate=12%2F31%2F2006&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=1&IncludeImages=1&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=Daily+Nation%09%09%09

    He summarises the main problems as: “TROUBLE with getting insurance coverage for new seaside buildings, reportedly high taxation across the tourism industry and the continuing loss of traditional tourist accommodation to villas and condominium buildings, are among the issues bothering hoteliers.”

    So, not only does the Opposition and Newspapers have little to say about the problem of contamination of our waters, the BHTA does not seem to recognize it as an issue either.

    Maybe it isn’t.

  7. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Barbados Environment Ministry Has No Shell Oil Pipeline Leakage Records!

  8. john B

    I am appalled by the way this matters has been handled. The Govenment of Barbados aapears to have turned a blind eye to this matter for years. As a landowner in the Gibbon Boggs area I am surprised that:
    1. The Govenment has not issued any health and safety warnings to the farmers and the wider public at large at the potential danger. I requested this, almost 18 months ago, and am still waiting for a response from them.
    2. Shell are dealing directly with the farmers, many of whom are tenants and not owners of the land. Legally the matter should be between the landowners and Shell, and Shell and the Govenment.
    3. It would be interesting to see what health and safety measures the govenment has put in place as a consequence of the oil spill. There should be a wide ranging review of health and safety matters affecting the community.