Barbados Shell Pipeline Jet Fuel Leak – “Almost Pure Kerosene” Fills Domestic Water Well

As It Happens Report From 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.

CBC TV news will probably carry the story tonight.

Adrian Loveridge

UPDATE: See Nation News Article Concern Over Oil In Well

Background Reading

BFP Feb 6, 2007 – Shell 2006 Profits: US$2.9 Million Dollars PER HOUR! – Offers Barbados Farmers Less Than One Hour’s Profits For A Decade Of Pollution And A Deadly Future

BFP June 20, 2007 – Pollution Recklessness Should Disqualify Shell And Exxon From Barbados Oil Bids

BFP August 23, 2006 – Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

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37 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Business, Environment, Health

37 responses to “Barbados Shell Pipeline Jet Fuel Leak – “Almost Pure Kerosene” Fills Domestic Water Well

  1. Bajanboy

    In the recent cadres poll, I think only 3% of Barbadians said that the enviroment was an issue for them. So, I do not think we will get many comments on this post and most Bajans dont care.

  2. yatinkinkiteasy

    Where is our Environmental Minister?How can Shell get away with this?..Are we going to wait for a major event before something is one about this problem that is many years old…..Barbados is truly a third world country…..and Shell Knows it.

  3. PiedPiper

    Class Action Lawsuit is the way to go……….yes, Shell is one of the most powerful corporations in the world but others have taken them on and won but you will need the full power of the government behind you and which government will it be and will they have the courage to take on Shell.

  4. bp

    How much is kerosene going for at the pump these days? Show me the well!

  5. rumboy

    This could become a major issue at the polls. It was a major topic on Brass Tacks today but I honestly do not see how this Goverment could be held accountable. The fault lies solely on the shoulders of Shell and they should be made to settle quickly, but then again how can they be forced to do so, close them down.

    ******************************

    BFP Comments,

    We lacked the laws necessary to shut them down, because this BLP government and past DLP governments never saw fit to make laws about pollution.

    However, we did have ONE HELL OF A CRICKET WORLD CUP PARTY!

  6. rumboy

    As a collective people who care, we could boycott all Shell stations. Within a week I guarantee that they would fix and settle and Kyff could then keep his Merc.

  7. Sargeant

    I just checked in the BLP document “2007 Report on Promises and Performance”. In the section titled “Environment” is the following:
    Built new, or renovated and improved, beach facilities at Silver Sands, Browne’s Beach,
    Worthing and Pebbles beaches.
    • Improved the waterfront from Drill Hall to Rockley, restored and enhanced Crane Beach
    and implemented an aeration system for the Holetown Lagoon.
    • Provided vending facilities at Rockley, Worthing and Dover.
    • Significantly enhanced the appeal of Bridgetown by redeveloping and greening Jubilee
    Gardens, Independence Square and Trevor’s Way.

    So there! Take your environmental concens elsewhere there is nothing to complain about. I will now check the section titled “New Standards in Accountabilty and Fiscal Responsibility”

  8. John

    Sargeant

    Did you know that the first call for Integrity legislation was from the BLP under Bree St. John in their manifesto of 1971?

    Did you know they felt so strongly about it that the call for Integrity Legislation was repeated in its 1976 manifesto?

    Did you know that in July 1979, Tom Adams laid before Parliament the “Integrity in Public Life Act” which was debated in November 1979?

    Did you know that Parliament last discussed Integrity Legislation on October 24th 1995 under the BLP?

    When you have finished reading the section titled “New Standards in Accountability and Responsibility” please let us know what you found on the BLP’s proud record of Promise and Performance where Integrity Legislation is concerned?

    I kind of know what you will find that’s why I’m not reading it!!

  9. Pingback: Shell Oil Company Giving Barbadian Farmers Raw Deal «

  10. Sargeant

    John

    I think you missed the sarcasm in my comments. This fuel leak originated in the infancy of this government and three terms later it remains outstanding. It just shows their level of concern. How can an Environment section not mention Greenland, after all how much money has been poured into that pink elephant? It does not mention how the government is coping with all the illegal dumping that is bespoiling the countryside, it does not mention what it is doing to eradicate the African snails that have become an everday pest. I suppose the only thing that matters are the beaches. Out of sight out of mind.

    For the section “New Standards in Accountability and Fiscal Responsibility” I’m sure that there are many more bloggers better equipped to deal with that garbage and I look forward to their submissions.

  11. Anonymous

    There is the Marine Pollution Control Act which could apply in this case.
    However, most of the countrys’ environmental leglislation is in shambles not due to incompetence by the relavent departments but by the departments responsible for review and drafting of the legal framework required.

  12. Hi Marcus and the gang we don’t mean to intrude but in response to a previous commenter he or she should note the following:

    Dear Adrian,
    Please be advised that as much as we would like to help in resolving this matter, Sol is not in any way involved in this matter as Shell retained ownership and liability of the Oistins storage facility and pipeline to
    the airport as part of Sol’s acquisition of Shell’s marketing business back in 2005. Shell has made it perfectly clear to Sol, that we have no right to represent them in this matter and that we should not get involved
    in any way. We do know however that Shell has commissioned a thorough environmental assessment of the entire area from Oistins to the airport with the intention of identifying and remediating affected areas.
    Unfortunately for Sol having licensed the Shell brand for its retail business in Barbados, our business suffers as a result of this publicity.

    We hope like you that this matter can be resolved in the soonest possible timeframe.

    Sincerely,
    Stewart Gill
    Executive Director
    The Sol Group
    2nd Floor Mahogany Court
    Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados
    (246) 431-4885, (246) 431-4880 fax
    stewart.gill@solpetroleum.com

    Vote To Protect Our Democracy People!

  13. BFP

    Thanks David

    The divesting of “troublesome” business areas is what Shell and other huge multi-nats do best.

    As long as our government allows companies like Shell to carelessly destroy our soil and water, these irresponsible companies will continue to thumb their noses at Barbados.

    For our part, we agree that a boycott of the Shell brand might accomplish something for the country.

    Don’t let them get away with saying “that’s not our division, that’s another Shell division.”

    Nope… no Shell petrol for me anymore.

  14. Hants

    An environmental issue of this magnitude requires Government involvement.

    What would the Government have done if the oil had leaked on to the south coast beaches instead of farmer’s land?

  15. John

    Sargeant

    I was being a bit sarcastic too.

    I was hoping you would come back and say you found no mention of Integrity Legislation in the section and it had been left blank.

    If the BLP actually took a bill on integrity legislation to parliament in 1979 and we are still talking about our lack thereof then the promises vs performance document could only be a joke where this section is concerned if it were anything but blank.

    After all, the BLP started the process in 1971, 37 years ago, …. that is getting up to two generations!! My grandfather and grandmother would have heard all about it back then. They are now long gone, passed to the great beyond.

    I think I would be ashamed to have a record like that on Integrity Legislation and also have a record of cost overruns comparable to the one they have now.

    … now the DLP …. their record isn’t much better either. The BLP could claim that they were constantly thwarted by the efforts of the DLP.

    The simple fact of the matter is it doesn’t suit either party!!

  16. John

    …. hopefully Shell will publish the volume of fuel pumped from Oistins and the volume of fuel received at the airport so we know how much is actually in the ground.

    It might be feasible to put an electricity generator up that side and save on fuel imports rather than let all the fuel just run back into the sea.

    …. and if up that side weren’t so built up we might even be able to run an garbage incinerator for free.

    ******************

    BFP Comments

    Hello John,

    Our source told us that the Barbados Environment Ministry DID NOT REQUIRE Shell to keep such records and none were kept.

    Horrendous. Criminal.

    See our article Barbados Environment Ministry Has No Shell Oil Pipeline Leakage Records!

  17. BFP

    Here’s a quote from our article…

    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?

  18. John

    …. so who paid for the jet fuel that went into the ground?

    The airlines I would imagine pay for what they use. A tanker delivers it to the plane. I see them. A tanker holds a known quantity and the airlines are not going to pay for more than they use.

    The measurement systems on the plane have to be accurate because it can’t refuel up in the air. The pilot needs to know the quantitiy of fuel he has at any time.

    Is it BNOC, ie us, who paid for Shell to pump the jet fuel in the ground on the way to their (Shell or BNOC) facility at Grantley Adams?

    Something isn’t right here.

    Whose pipeline is it and who paid to get it replaced?

    Didn’t we hear Veco got the prison job because of the wonderful job they had done on the pipeline and tank farm?

    Doesn’t that sound like the GOB, ie BNOC owns the new pipeline and tank farm at Grantley Adams?

    Something is not right here.

    Shell isn’t going to pump jet fuel into the ground and get paid for what appears at Grantley Adams unless they are charging somebody outrageous prices!!

    Were Shell and somebody in the GOB playing footsie?

    Surely we can at least get records of the number of tankers that offloaded fuel off Oistins and the quantity that was offloaded and match it to what the records say Shell, or BNOC or whoever sold to the airlines at Grantley Adams.

    The difference is what went into the ground ……
    and what then had to be reordered from the supplier, (Shell?) increasing its sales ….. and profits.

    Everybody smiles, except the farmers, and ultimately the hotels on the coast, possibly even Peach and Quiet although it is far enough east and I think it might escape.

    It is amazing that proprietors from all the hotels in Maxwell aren’t getting involved. After all, they may end up in the same boat as the farmers once the jetfuel starts appearing in the sea off their hotels.

  19. Hants

    Mr Arthur suggested that players in the sector should aim to make Barbados the mecca for shopping in the Caribbean, by selling more brands and larger volumes at lower prices.

    And he gave the assurance that he intends to fully support efforts to do so.

    “For example there is to be a new mall opposite Millennium Heights. The town planning said only give it half the size it asked for but I SAID GIVE IT ALL and let them sell a wider variety of goods so people can have a broader choice.

    Why would Town Planning make such a colossal mistake that Owen had to See Thru the decision and make them change it?

    Cow and the Trinis thanks you for this wonderful gift Mr. PM.

  20. Adrian Loveridge

    John..

    You raise a very good point and its one I asked the farmers if they knew the answer.

    If Shell (or whoever) pumped the fuel off a ship into the pipeline and then eventually to a storage facility close to the airport, didn’t ANYONE notice that there was a lower quanitity actually arriving at the tanks?
    What does this say about good business practice, and health and safety regulations?

    The only logical conclusion is that Shell knew of the leakage for sometime.

    And still the Trade Unions are silent!
    Also, why are the Government’s own environmental health people so quiet?

    If quantities of kerosine are now being found in various scattered places, should it not concern them for obvious health reasons?

  21. Adrian Loveridge

    Shell has only just settled a pipeline leakage case taken out against them in 1988.
    The Limestone Township received a settlement of US$46 million.

  22. John

    Adrian Loveridge
    January 6, 2008 at 9:29 am
    Shell has only just settled a pipeline leakage case taken out against them in 1988.
    The Limestone Township received a settlement of US$46 million.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Note the word Limestone!! …. Barbados is mostly Limestone too!!

  23. John

    Now if Shiela over at BU had her head on and looked at these stats on The Limestone Township she might change her tune.

    US$46 million for a Township of less than 20,000 people, hmmmmmmm..

    Maybe the farmers are on to something!

    Stats

    Land area: 35.7 sq. mi.
    Water area: 0.3 sq. mi.
    Population: 19,374 (83% urban, 17% rural)

    Males: 9,484 (49.0%)
    Females: 9,890 (51.0%)

    Occupied houses/apartments: 18,664 (15,804 owner occupied, 2,860 renter occupied)

    % of renters here: 15%
    State: 33%

    Races in Limestone township:

    White Non-Hispanic: 94.6%
    Black: 2.5%
    American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.2%
    Asian: 0.5%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.0%
    Hispanic or Latino: 1.3%
    Two or more races: 0.8%
    Some other race: 0.1%
    Median age of males: 39.4
    Median age of females: 40.9
    Average houshold size: 2.51
    Average family size: 2.94

  24. John

    Found this tidbit when I was searching for the Township of Limestone and Shell on the internet. It seems that City aldermen need to behave themselves, not pass rude remarks and submit themselves to drug tests.

    Is the breathaliser being resisted because it is too easy to include our MPs in testing before they are allowed to steer our ship of state?

    http://daily-journal.com/archives/dj/display.php?id=411159

    Sticks and stones

    Change of Direction — The Kankakee City Council charged Kankakee City alderman James “Bubba” Cox with six counts of conduct unbecoming for a alderman.

    One charge includes him failing to take an required drug test for all Kankakee County officials.

    Five other counts include rude remarks that fellow employees found offensive. One of these charges include someone being called “Uncle Tom” by Cox. In another confused moment Cox said he would file “formal racial charges” against two African-American employees.

    We believe that Cox is merely a talking point in the arena of politics. The city needs to protect its employees, but perhaps the time has come to begin to ignore Cox.

  25. John

    Lessons from Shell

    Thumbs Down — Shell Oil recently settled the Limestone Township pipeline spill case from 1988 for a whopping $46 million. The entire issue cries out for Kankakee County to pay more attention to environmental issues. One resident received no notice that 100,000 gallons of gasoline had seeped into the water system. The entire settlement took nine years for the county to clean up. An additional 14 years were added to the entire process of cleaning up the township. This sends a clear message that the county should have a thorough inspection system. Let’s reconsider the once-canceled delegation agreement.

  26. John

    Sorry, wrong county in Illinois. It is the one in Kanakee County, not Peoria County.

    Population in US Census of 2000 was 4,659, source Wikipedia.

    So the settlement ($46 Million) equates to about $10,000US per person.

    However the settlement took 9 years and allowed for 14 years for cleanup of the 100,000 gallons of gasolene, about $460 US per gallon.

    Questions are,

    1. How many people in the parish of Christ Church (o r is it Barbados) and how many gallons of aviation fuel spilled?

    … and of course

    2. Is Aviation fuel worse or better than gasolene for the environment?

  27. John

    I was trying to think of something I see daily to get a handle on just what 100,000 gallons looks like as a cubic measure.

    I thought in terms of the footprint of a house (say 300 square feet) and thinking how high the walls would have to be to contain 100,000 gallons.

    Then I thought of the Fort George Reservoir, that big able green tank on top the hill hehind CBC.

    I have been trying to discover how much water it holds so I can get a handle on exactly how much 100,000 gallons is and see if I can relate the $46million it cost Shell to something I can understand and see.

    Does anyone know how much the reservoir at Fort George holds? Hope to find out tomorrow from my sources. I suspect it will hold several times the 100,000 which cost Shell $46Million.

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