Venezuela has finally agreed to facilitate T&T’s inspection of the damaged FSO Nabarima vessel.
According to a Guardian report, Foreign Affairs Minister Amery Browne made the confirmation last night.
Earlier, he said that “Government has maintained its serious concern about this vessel’s stability and the environmental threat to the Gulf of Paria and we’ve also been in touch with the US Embassy on the issue all the way up to Thursday” Browne said.
Since July of this year, the Nabarima has been taking on water and was listing to the right.
Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA oil company, which operates the vessel, assured issues were fixed and it was stable.
An inspection team from T&T, comprising Coast Guard, Energy Ministry, Institute of Marine Affairs and other officials was organised to complete an inspection of the vessel in September. But permission is needed by T&T to enter Venezuelan jurisdiction and the Foreign Affairs Ministry was told by Venezuela authorities the visit couldn’t be done before October 20.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea general secretary Gary Aboud underwent the hours long trip yesterday to the vessel and bravely took shots and video of the vessel.
Aboud said the vessel, which has 1.3 million barrels of oil on board, is tilting at 25 to 30 degrees and increasing.
He said “Its anchor chains are taut, under extreme pressure. What if these anchor chains break and the vessel capsizes and spills the oil into our fishery ecosystem?
“There’s been no third-party disclosure whether the oil is in sealed or secure compartments. Some might say we had no business going there but we have a duty to the 50,000 fishermen and everyone else in the Caribbean Sea.”