World Officials: 'Minimal' risk Venezuela oil tanker will sink

tom_mai78101

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- A damaged Venezuelan oil tanker recently tilting to one side in the Caribbean after taking on water poses no significant risk of spilling and causing an environmental catastrophe, officials of Trinidad & Tobago said Thursday.

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Franklin Khan said a team of experts from his country inspected the FSO Nabarima on Tuesday, allaying previous fears it was on the brink of sinking and spewing 1.3 million barrels of oil.

The double-hulled tanker is “intact and poses a minimum risk of any oil spills at this time,” Khan said.

He said Venezuela had started the slow process of unloading oil to further avoid disaster, an operation expected to take up to 35 days.

“The team confirm that major maintenance is ongoing," Khan said. "Pumps and electrical motors are being repaired and replaced as needed.”

Trinidad officials said they will continue to monitor the effort, and have applied for permission from Venezuela for a follow-up inspection in a month.

International outcry arose in early September over the Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima, a 264-meter (866-foot) long ship believed to be almost filled to its capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude — about five times the amount the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989.


Read more here. (ABC News)
 
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