Preparing for the next phase, return to operations

Equinor returning to operations.

Equinor executives are preparing for the next phase following the oil spill at the East End plant, due to Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.

After the spill, company executives moved quickly to begin a clean-up and recovery exercise.

Following is a statement from the Equinor, sharing an update of the progress at the plant.

“The remaining oil stored in the tanks at the Equinor South Riding Point terminal have been safely exported and work is now ongoing to fully assess the technical status of the terminal and its facilities. New tests of the groundwater around the terminal continue to show no contamination from the oil spill.

Following the completion of the recovery of the free oil at and around the terminal, the remaining clean-up of the oil in the forest north-east of the terminal will be completed. This work will have to be done manually and will continue towards the summer of 2020.

There is still no sign of the oil spill having any marine effect in the sea outside the terminal.

The groundwater testing in the vicinity of the terminal, performed by independent contractors and third-party laboratories, is performed in close cooperation with and in the presence of the Bahamian authorities.  Five additional wells have been drilled, giving a total number of 27 wells for the testing of the ground water.  There continues to be no sign of oil contamination. The monitoring of the water wells will continue throughout 2020.

The oil stored at the terminal, 1.8 million barrels, have been safely exported. The loading was successful through minor temporary rectifications of the facilities, following the damages caused by hurricane Dorian.  The oil collected from the oil spill and other waste will be prepared for export to the U.S. for further treatment.

Following the export of the remaining stored oil, extensive work to perform a comprehensive technical review of the tanks and the facilities has been initiated. This work will result in a recommendation for the reconstruction before normal operations can be resumed.  It is too early to give a firm estimate for when the terminal will be back to normal operations.

The South Riding Point terminal is one of several assets in the oil trading business of Equinor. The current outage can be well managed within our robust portfolio with little disruption to current activity.”

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