Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Stricken Venezuelan oil tanker raises fears of Caribbean ecological disaster

Lawmakers from the National Assembly called on the country's government to urgently unload oil from Nabarima to avoid a spill.

The Nabarima seen tilted in the Paria Gulf, between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, on Friday.Fishermen and Friends of the Sea / Reuters

Patrick Smith
NBC News

Concerns are growing that an oil tanker carrying millions of gallons of oil could spill its load into the sea between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, causing an ecological catastrophe.

The Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima has lain in the Gulf of Paria since last January when U.S. sanctions on Venezuela made it illegal for companies that operate in the U.S. to trade with the country's state-owned oil company.

Trinidad and Tobago’s energy and foreign ministers both told to the Miami Herald newspaper that a team would visit vessel on Tuesday. Trinidadian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The Nabarima is carrying 1.3 million barrels of crude oil, according to Venezuelan politicians and green activist groups. With up to 80 million gallons of oil, a spill from the vessel could cause an ecological disaster.  Read more >>