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Work begins to stem ruptured oil well

Published: 
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Two weeks after mishap in Gulf
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Vessels engaged in corralling and vacuuming of the wax-like, foam mousse emanating from the leaking well in the Gulf of Paria.

Two weeks after the Couva Marine 2 oil well ruptured spewing high pressures of gas and oil into the Gulf of Paria, engineers have begun preparatory to contain the emissions.

Under the guidance of senior well-control engineers from the Texas-based company Boots and Coots, an abandonment strategy was agreed upon and works commenced.

A team from Petrotrin has been containing and recovering the spilt hydrocarbon material that is being emitted by the well.

The team has been corralling the wax-like, foam mousse and before vacuuming it into intermediate bulk containers stored on the vessels which are part of the clean-up operations. Members of the Oil Spill Response Limited, one of Petrotrin’s external partners for oil-spill response, has been working on the project. Since the pre-abandonment works started, Petrotrin and the T&T Coast Guard have been doing regular patrols to ensure that marine craft operators stay about three nautical miles away from the ruptured well.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Energy said the works started on Sunday following completion of an appropriate well control strategy, risk assessment and the fabrication of the necessary fittings and equipment to allow for safe operations.

“Developing the strategy required analysis of historical data from the well and other wells in the area, an assessment of the current conditions and the sourcing of the required materials and equipment, some of which had to be specially designed and fabricated,” the Ministry said.

Well-control specialists from Boots & Coots Services have been providing technical advice and support for the Petrotrin team involved in the emergency response. The abandonment works are expected to last for two weeks. The Ministry said the prohibited area has been reduced by the Maritime Services Division from the original radius of five nautical miles from the leaking well to three nautical miles. Additional warning buoys have been deployed at the request of fishermen.

“Both the Coast Guard and Petrotrin security vessels will maintain patrols in the area. Petrotrin vessels engaged in corralling and recovery activities,” the Ministry said. It is uncertain how much gas has already entered the environment or how much the abandonment works will cost the Ministry of Energy.

Boots & Coots Services is one of the leaders in the global energy industry for well control services.

The company boasts of over 40 years’ knowledge and experience in addressing the industry’s most challenging well control problems—onshore, offshore and subsea.

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