The updated estimate is made by Equinor and surveyor companies AmSpec and Oil Inspections following a transfer of oil from the damaged tanks to secure tanks at the terminal last week.
The South Riding Point terminal stored a total of 1,870 million barrels of oil when Hurricane Dorian struck. The new surveys confirm that 1,815 million barrels of oil are still intact in the tanks at the terminal. That means 55,000 barrels is the updated volume estimate for the spill. Most of the spilled volumes were within or near the terminal area.
More than 50,000 barrels of oil have already been recovered. The calculation of oil spilled versus oil recovered will likely never fully match as the collected oil also will contain water.
Equinor is committed to cleaning up after the incident. Currently, more than 350 responders from 14 nations – including more than 100 responders from the Bahamas – are working on the recovery operations. There have been no work-related incidents.
The clean-up operations have expanded to the forest areas north-east of the terminal. Specially trained teams have started the clean-up work in the most impacted part of the forest, supported by the Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) team and safety experts. Equinor’s plan is to have four teams consisting of around 100 persons involved in the forest clean up.
The teams are trained to perform safe clean-up operations aiming to allow the forest areas to recover more rapidly and reduce risk to returning wildlife. Remediation efforts consider best practice on oil spill related incidents.
The teams are equipped with necessary protection and safety equipment. Equinor will continue to monitor all work areas for hazardous gases. So far air monitoring results have been favorable, with no actionable levels of hazardous gases detected.
Equinor has also started execution of a ground water monitoring plan of the impacted area with approval from the Bahamian government. Final planning of well placements based on plume extension and hydrological understanding is ongoing. Suppliers and equipment for drilling the wells are currently being mobilized.
Equinor will establish a long-term monitoring plan of ground water and for the affected forest areas to be submitted to Bahamian authorities.