A Venezuelan ship carrying 1.3 million barrels of oil is bending – and could lead to a catastrophic oil spill

An Venezuelan oil tanker has been erected for nearly two years in the Gulf of Paria, containing approximately 80 million gallons of oil. New pictures of the vessel show that it is leaning heavily on its side – leading to potential concerns growing. Environmental disaster That one of the richest regions is threatened Biodiversity in the world.

According to local politicians and activist groups, Nabarima carries about 1.3 million barrels of crude oil – about five times the amount. Exxon Valdez Famously dropped in 1989. The vessel is part of a joint venture between Petroelos Venezuela (PDVSA) and Eni Spa of Italy.

The vessel has been stranded in the Gulf since January 2019. An NI spokesman told Reuters that the company was looking to unload crude from the vessel but was “waiting for a” green light “from the US government to prevent the risk of its sanctions.”

The Nabarima floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility is seen tilted to Paria Bay
The Nabarima floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility, operated by the Petrosucre joint venture between Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela and Italy’s Eni, appears to be tilted on October 16, 2020, in Paria Bay, between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea via Reuters

On Monday, the environmental group Fishermen and Friends of Sea, which represents 50,000 fishermen in local industry, appealed to the Caribbean community to work together to protect the region and people from a potential disaster, which is “clean, Emphasizes the need for a “healthy sea”. . ”

The organization’s corporate secretary, Gary Aboud, visited the vessel on Friday and said what he saw was “horrifying”. The video taken by Abaud shows the boat tilted at an angle at about 25 degrees.

“These are not false images. No one is doing anything,” Aboud says with a pot leaning behind him. He called for a national emergency.

In Record breaking storm seasonA massive oil spill would threaten the entirety of the southern Caribbean. A huge coral reef system, already stressed by climate change, can be damaged beyond recovery – ultimately leading to the collapse of entire marine ecosystems.

The organization wrote on Facebook, “Our weeping has gone on and it seems that Nabarima’s condition is getting worse day by day.” “Their silence is unacceptable and if the ship overturns, it will never be forgiven.”

This week, MPs from the Venezuela National Assembly’s Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Commission called on PDVSA and ENI to “unload the barrels from the ship” as quickly as possible.

In a press release, Commission President Maria Gabriella Hernández del Castillo said the tanker is now more tilted than the group reported in August, when the head of the Venezuelan Unitary Federation of Petroleum Workers Reported The ship had about nine feet of water filling the lower deck.

On Friday, the US embassy in Trinidad and Tobago also said the PDVSA had “responsibility to take action to avoid environmental disaster in Venezuelan waters”, warning that it would harm people in nearby countries as well .

PDVSA has previously denied that the ship is in danger. In September, Pedro Figuera, offshore executive director of the state oil company, Tweeted That Nabarima complied with environmental protection procedures.

PDVSA could not be reached immediately. Eni did not immediately respond to CBS News’ requests for comment.

Hernández said that “no restrictions” could prevent companies from transferring crude oil, calling it a “cheap excuse”.


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