Norwegian ministry says Equinor will “behave”

Norwegian ministry says Equinor will “behave”

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said it expects Equinor will “behave accordingly” as the company works to remediate the tragic oil spill in East Grand Bahama.

The Norwegian state is the largest shareholder in Equinor (previously Statoil) with an ownership interest of 67%.

The ownership interest is managed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. 

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy’s Communications Officer, Margrete Løbben Hanssen, told Eyewitness News Online the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy does not take part in the company’s decision making process. 

“According to the state’s ownership policy and commonly accepted principles for good corporate governance the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy does not take part in the company’s decision making process.  That is the responsibility of the board and management of the company.”

“The situation on The Bahamas is being taking care by the company itself and The Ministry can not comment specifically on that matter. We expect that Equinor will behave according to local and international rules, the state’s expectations on sustainability and Equinor’s own ethical framework.”

Environmental group Save The Bays on Sunday suggested the government should broker a settlement with Equinor or sue to cover restoration costs of the East Grand Bahama oil spill.

However, Attorney General Carl Bethel told Eyewitness News Online the suggestion was premature.

“We have to get all the facts and things, so it will be most presumptuous,” Bethel said when asked if the government had considered litigation.

“I don’t know what the situation is. I haven’t been informed of anything by environment, so environment will be the one that gives me instructions.”

The roofs of storage tanks at the South Riding Point facility blew off during the passage of Hurricane Dorian, spilling nearly five gallons of crude oil.

The environmental group claims water testing conducted at five locations near the facility, indicate critical wetland habitats have been contaminated.

According to Equinor, 119,000 barrels or 4,998,000 gallons of oil
were spilled. 

Of this, 36,299 barrels, or more than 1.4 million gallons of oil have been recollected so far.