NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Environment Romauld Ferreira yesterday confirmed 35,000 barrels of oil has been recovered from the oil spill at Equinor – formally known as Statoil – in East Grand Bahama.
Approximately 119,000 barrels of oil were spilled during the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
The cleanup effort is the largest in the history of The Bahamas.
Ferreira said: “Everybody is aware that the roofs of the storage tanks blew off and between wind, rain and tidal surge, oil spread out into the forest to the north and to the containment areas.
“Of the oil spill thus far, 35,000 barrels have been recovered.
“Four thousand acres of forest have been surveyed for impact, and 175 acres we can confirm were impacted in some way by crude oil.”
According to Equinor, the spill represents six percent of the total 1.88 million barrels stored at the location.
The company has said the amount of oil spill versus oil recovered will likely never fully match, due to the “evaporation of oil and other natural processes.”
“Most of the spilled volumes are within or near the terminal area,” the company said in a statement last week. “More of the oil will be recovered over the coming weeks as work progresses to empty containment berms surrounding the tanks.
“Equinor is committed to cleaning up. Plans for how to address the outside area are being matured and executed in close dialogue with the Bahamian government.”