As we originally reported in "Burst Shell Oil Pipeline – Oil Heading For Barbados Coast", since 1995, the seven-mile pipeline from Oistins to Grantley Adams International Airport has burst on several occasions – spilling jet fuel onto agricultural lands and into the water table and nearby wells.
Yesterday, we received information from a source that, if true, is beyond outrage and well into criminal negligence…
Barbados Free Press has received information that the Barbados Ministry of the Environment does not have in it's possession the Shell Oil daily pipeline records to show how much jet-fuel has been lost from the pipeline since leaks were first reported in 1995.
We are also informed that there is no Barbados environmental law that requires Shell Oil to keep daily pipeline leakage records, or to surrender these records for government audit.
Outrage Over Lack Of Oversight & Environmental Laws
Our source states that pretty well every pipeline company in the world is required to keep and file daily in/out product loss records. It is pretty simple – document how much product went into the pipeline and how much came out at the other end. The difference is the product lost in transport. Large amounts of lost product can indicate theft, pipeline leakage or instrumentation and accounting problems.
For obvious reasons, virtually every jurisdiction in the western hemisphere requires oil companies to keep daily product loss records not only for pipeline transport, but also for storage tanks, including underground fuel storage tanks at retail service stations.
Daily dips at retail service stations are required not only for normal accounting, but also to indicate if there is any leakage of gasoline or diesel fuel into the ground.
So, virtually every jurisdiction requires by law that such records are to be kept and produced for government inspection…
…virtually every jurisdiction that is, except for Barbados.
Our source tells us that the Barbados Ministry of the Environment has never audited the Shell Oil daily pipeline leakage records, and has never received copies of the records – if they even exist.
How about it Environment Minister Thompson?
* Why doesn't your Ministry have in it's possession right now, the daily product loss records from the Shell Oil pipeline for the last ten years?
* Why haven't you introduced laws to require records keeping and audits for fuel storage and transport?
* Why haven't you introduced laws to require immediate reporting of petroleum spills and leaks to the Ministry of the Environment?
This is very basic stuff, Liz.
Is the source correct? What is the story?