Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

A BFP reader points out that nothing is settled yet regarding the Shell pipeline leaks…

I am a victim of shell oil leaks and I am mad as hell with the situation. Shell admitted that their lines were leaking from 1994 and not 1995. Their figures showed over 300 thousand gallons of jet fuel .

Three Ministers of Agriculture have presided in their ministries, since this oil leak into the ground water. The Prime Minister came to office in 1994. He knew about it and did nothing. Where is CERO on this matter of such a magnitude?

Farmers and their extended families are suffering from the negligence of Shell and the Government of Barbados.

Previous BFP Articles On The Shell Pipeline Leaks…

Barbados Environment Ministry Has No Shell Oil Pipeline Leakage Records!

Barbados Pipeline Rupture: Consequences For People, Not For Shell Oil

Burst Shell Oil Pipeline – Oil Heading For Barbados Coast


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

26 responses to “Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

  1. Jane

    Crusty, this is just one of our big enviornmental problems.

  2. cat eyes

    The Barbados Government became extremely angry, and the officers within the Ministry of Education accused the group of Concerned Ctizens of attempting to bring the country into international disrepute when they wrote UNICEF re the Louis Lynch issue via a petition. Two days later the plans to use the children as guinea pigs was scrapped and serious attempts were made to move them. Today, all the children have been resited.
    I would suggest the residents and farmers unite and take a leaf out of the Concerned Citizens’ book. If you have received no positive action locally, make the oil leakage an international issue and you will surely receive positive results. Be prepared to be villified. Victimisation will also be attempted, but be strong in the knowledge that you are already being victimised by being forced to endure the effects of the leakage.

  3. John

    I second that.

    The Barbados Government is also our servant.

    We pay for its existence.

    If it is not acting right where Shell and the farmers are concerned, tell it clearly what it needs to do.

    If it doesn’t listen, go international.

    …. and remember, Shell is a guest in our country.

  4. William Duguid

    Shell is no longer here it has been totally bought out by SOL and all the infrastructure.

  5. BFP

    “Shell is no longer here it has been totally bought out by SOL and all the infrastructure.”

    Sure… make a mess, then sell it to a “shell” company and move on.

    And the government of Barbados has let them get away with it.

  6. Hants

    The government of Barbados is responsible for fixing this problem by any lawful means nescessary.

    Barbados is a small country dependant on Tourism so if there is a threat to the Beaches it must be addressed.

    It goes without saying that the farmers should be compensated.

    Shell or SOL is directly responsible to the government and people of Barbados for the damage the caused. I am sure a solution can be found.

  7. ross

    So why is it taking more than a decade to fix?

  8. West Side Davie

    So why is it taking more than a decade to fix?

    Take your choice why:

    1/ Government is incompetent
    2/ Government member are being paid off.

    If you can think of any other possible reasons why a decade has past and the guilty are free, please let me know!

  9. Crusty

    An acceptable solution beyond “ignore it and hope it
    goes away” might be difficult to ascertain. The public
    doesn’t have enough information about location,
    number and duration of leakage events, soil porosity,
    local water gradients, and a probable host of other
    factors to be able to make reasoned judgements
    about the dangers, costs, and consequences of any
    remediation activity.

    That said, the Hilton Hotel site was idle for over two
    years after demolition of the original building. One
    reason was the presence of underground fuel oil
    contamination derived from the nearby fuel storage
    and previous refinery. I know nothing about type and
    volume of oil recovered but I did see the collection
    trenches on one occasion nearly two years after the
    demolition. There was a sheen of oil on the water –
    this site is very close to sea level and the water table
    is not far below soil surface.

    So there has been prior experience in Barbados with
    soil remediation

    The following URL provides an American Environmental
    Protection Agency report on a much smaller spill of
    about 11,000 gallons in 2003.

    Sample reports like this lead one to ask what our
    local environmental departments are publishing.

  10. Velzo

    That information by Crusty on the Hilton is totally false. The details of the arbitration prove otherwise and will be come part of the public record. There is a better word for it: incompetence. By this selfish, corrupt BLP government.

  11. William Duguid

    Sorry I did not make it clear SOL has bought SHELL they main investor is Simpson this is not a “Shell” company. The liability of SHELL for leaks pre sale still remain the responsibilty of the SHELL company.
    Which of course is no longer in Barbados or I believe any where in the Caribbean for that matter.

  12. William Duguid

    From the Nation
    IT IS WRONG to say that Government is not assisting the Gibbons, Christ Church farmers affected by an oil leak, charged Minister of Agriculture Senator Erskine Griffith.

    On Monday, he explained in the Upper Chamber that since the farmers’ and Shell’s lawyers were negotiating, Government had taken a secondary role.

    During the introduction of a bill to amend the Small Business Development Act, Griffith brought up the issue involving the small farmers.

    He was at the time also cautioning small business owners about keeping records in case any problems arose. He cited an instance where one farmer maintained that he had his information in his “head”.

    The minister said while Government had an emergency fund, it was in the interest of the small business owners to have evidence to show how much they had lost.

    Since 1995 the farmers have been complaining about a burst seven-mile oil pipe from Oistins to Grantley Adams International Airport which spilled high-grade refined kerosene into their irrigation.

    Griffith said that Shell had acknowledged the problem it created for farmers because of the leak and was willing to settle the issue, even submitting a clean-up plan.

    He said Government offered to deal with other aspects of the matter and the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation had opened up other wells to provide other water supply.

    When the issue of soil contamination came up, samples of the soil, water and plant tissue were taken and sent overseas.

    Those results have been released but now must be interpreted, said Griffith.

  13. Velzo

    William, the truth is that I now believe you less and less. You need to get your facts right before I can really invest my time in taking you seriously. That is a great pity, though.

  14. William Duguid

    Why would you say that Velzo? What is there not to believe.
    My second comment is directly from the nation.
    I can also get a quote to substantiate the first.
    check this site

  15. William Duguid

    From SOL website.

    In 2005 SOL acquired Shell’s fuels businesses in Belize, Guyana, Suriname and the following countries of the Eastern Caribbean region: Barbados, St. Lucia, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts & Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Dominica, Anguilla, Grenada and St. Vincent, positioning SOL as one of the key players in the Caribbean oil market.

    SOL will supply Shell’s high quality products and continue to use the Shell brand under a Trade Mark License Agreement at retail service stations and will sell Shell and Pennzoil branded lubricants in Puerto Rico.

    Sol Group Chairman, Kyffin Simpson said, “We welcome the opportunity to expand our commercial relationship with Shell into Puerto Rico having had a very successful year in the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Suriname and Belize markets. We look forward to working with the staff and intend to grow the business through close local partnerships that can respond rapidly to customer needs.”

    Shell Puerto Rico Chairman, Juan Carlos Cortés said, “I am delighted that we have been able to establish this long term deal with the SOL Group in Puerto Rico. This brings together the best of Shell’s global products and standards with SOL’s local focus and decision-making. Our priority now is to work with our staff, customers and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition and jointly grow the business.”

    Its all true Velzo.

  16. Crusty

    Velzo Says:
    August 24th, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    That information by Crusty on the Hilton is totally false. The details of the arbitration prove otherwise and will be come part of the public record.


    Please tell me what I wrote that is false so that I can correct it.
    Please provide references for same.

  17. John

    I read in yesterday’s Advocate that Shell is one of many “jostling for a chance to pump many millions of dollars into the search for oil offshore Barbados”

    The article goes on to say, Shell, Exxon and Chevron have a long standing presence here.

    Liz says ” There has been tremendous interest. We have been approached by a number of small and large companies. We have now had numerous meetingss with several companies who have flown in to Barbados specifically to express an interest and be involved”

    Think of all that gravy!!!

    And the GOB can’t help the farmers with Shell?

    Surely a little gravy could go their way!!

    Liz says they got 12 or more companies mad to sign.

    She says Cabinet goin “soon” examine the general policy”that will sign off on these priority areas and identifying the international consultants who will go througn the process of drawing up the bid blocks and the general exploration programme”.

    She says cabinet ain’t going sign off on any deal with any company unless “they could assure protection of the environment, had a strong social responsibility, and the technical capability necessary for drilling in the ocean.”

    She says it have to do with reputation!!!

    That sound like real gravy goin share.

  18. ross

    Real grease too!

  19. Jane

    What are the terms of the contract that the Barbados Government signed with ConocoPhillips 10 years ago?

  20. Crusty

    Jane: Quoting from:

    In May 1996, Conoco acquired an exclusive deepwater exploration
    license offshore Barbados. Following hydrocarbon seep-detection
    surveys using both sea bottom sampling and satellite imaging, we
    acquired 2D seismic data on the block in 1999. TotalFinaElf farmed
    in to the license for a 35 percent working interest in 1999. During
    2000, we acquired a 3D seismic survey across the most promising
    prospect. We expect to enter a three year exploration drilling phase
    in May of 2001, and we expect to drill an exploration well in deep
    water by early 2002.


    One test hole was drilled and reported as dry.

    It appears that the ten year period of the contract has expired
    and the Barbados government is now looking for others to
    continue the exploration.

  21. Jane

    Crusty, thanks for that update and info. Do you have any idea what timeframe the government is looking at?

  22. Pingback: Barbados Selling Offshore Oil Drilling Rights - But Has No Pollution Laws Or Transparency Rules « Barbados Free Press

  23. Adrian Loveridge

    Today, (Thursday 3rd January 2008), I visited Oistins at the Southern Farmers request and witnessed a bucket being lowered into a well close to the road and where an Urban Development project is taken place.

    The well was about 500 feet from the beach and when the bucket was lifted it contained what appeared to be almost pure kerosene.

    Also there was Mr Lashley, Mr Boyce, Mr Jones and Senator Lowe of the DLP, The PEP candidate, several members of the media including the Advocate, Nation and CBC.
    I did not see any Government representative.

    I understand that Shell has admitted liability for the leaking pipes but the the settlement offered is simply not adequate.

    I call on Shell to settle and the Government which has allowed this matter to drag on for the entire duration their office.

    I understand that CBC TV news will carry the story tonight.

  24. Green Monkey

    Adrian said:

    I understand that Shell has admitted liability for the leaking pipes but the the settlement offered is simply not adequate.

    I call on Shell to settle and the Government which has allowed this matter to drag on for the entire duration their office.

    I don’t know how much of a difference it makes , but since I found out about this attempt by the cut-throat capitalists at Shell to stiff Bajan farmers after helping to destroy, or at least degrade, their livelihoods, I have personally boycotted Shell branded service stations. If by chance I am caught short and need to buy gas at a Shell station, I just put in a few dollars worth to get me back on the road until I can fill up somewhere else.

    I understand that the Shell stations in Bim are now owned by Sir Kyffin’s SOL, but I would assume that SOL pays a royalty to Shell for the use of the brand name and the less gasoline they sell, the less the royalty fee Shell will receive.

  25. Sargeant

    Shell plays hardball. Ever hear about Ken Saro-Wiwa. Just Google “Royal Dutch Shell Nigeria” and read the articles


    BFP comments…

    Hello Sargeant,

    Yes, we did an article on Ken Saro-Wiwa. See Shell News Is Big News At Barbados Advocate Newspaper!

  26. Nice replies in return of this query with genuine arguments and describing all about that.