More than 100 Bahamian nationals, including the local employees in Equinor and hired personnel from the local area of East End, are contributing alongside international workers in cleaning the site from free oil and debris.
The initial focus of the operation is the recovery of all oil outside of containment at the terminal. More than 6000 barrels of oil have so far been recovered. Work continues with vacuum trucks, absorbents and other equipment.
Addressing the natural area outside the terminal which has been affected by the oil spill is also high on the agenda. Progressing this work requires additional government approvals and permits.
This week, Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP), met with the Bahamas government in Nassau and visited the terminal.
“Seeing first-hand the suffering of the Bahamian people in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is devastating. I am highly impressed by how the people and the government of Bahamas are working to rebuild damaged areas. For Equinor the key priorities are to care for our people and to clean up the oil spills from the South Riding Point terminal. We see good progress, but a lot of hard work remains,” says Rummelhoff.
Bahamas is coming together to restore the country after Hurricane Dorian’s destructions. Equinor’s country manager, Tanya Seymour, grew up in Great Bahama. She is heading up the clean-up operations at the terminal.
“The devastations this hurricane brought with it is like nothing we have ever experienced before. I feel humbled and proud to see us coming together to care for each other, the environment and the terminal, in that order”, she says.
Aerial surveillance has covered most of the offshore areas near Grand Bahama and Abaco, without any confirmed observations of oil on water. The surveillance continues with shoreline assessments which requires surveys by foot and boat by trained oil spill experts.
The oil spill recovery operation is being closely monitored by environmental experts monitoring the soil and fauna. Mitigating equipment and plans are in place should the spill have any further effects.