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Petrotrin in talks for auditor

Monday, August 4 2014

STATE-OWNED oil company Petrotrin’s president, Khalid Hassanali, is expected to meet today with someone whom he said has been asked by the company to conduct an independent audit into the circumstances surrounding last Tuesday’s slop oil spill.

The spill occurred at one of the company’s tanks at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery which saw hundreds of barrels of oil flowing into the Guaracara River and has resulted in several persons falling ill.

On Saturday, Petrotrin chairman Lindsay Gillette announced the suspension of the company’s vice president of refinery and marketing, Mado Bachan.

More suspensions are to follow, Gillette said, as the independent audit sees fit. Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Hassanali said he will meet with a certain individual to ask whether he would accept the responsibility to perform an independent audit into oil spill.

Hassanali said, “We have been in contact with someone and by tomorrow afternoon (today) I will know.”

The company’s president said he would not like to divulge the identity of the potential auditor, in the event the person refuses.

Gillette had said the independent auditor would be given two weeks to conduct the investigations and prepare a report.

The chairman, at a press briefing on Saturday, pointed to a directive given by the Petrotrin board for the setting up an asset maintenance and optimization committee to look at what he described as asset integrity issues.

Gillette also said he had directed Hassanali to suspend all other persons whose duty it was to prevent occurrence of such an oil spill from one of its tanks — tank MP6.

Petrotrin issued a press statement yesterday stating company personnel distributed 150 hampers to affected residents in Marabella. It also said the air quality in the vicinity of the affected area where the spill occurred was conducive for cooking. The company stated persons wishing to seek shelter, if necessary, can do so at the Marabella North Government Secondary School.

A total of 19 persons have been treated for medical condition, the release stated, with six of them having been treated at Augustus Long Hospital.

The company also stated that 80 percent of the slop oil which seeped into the Guaracara River had been recovered.

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