Tobago oil leak stopped after a month

An oil leak from a barge carrying up to 35,000 barrels of fuel oil that capsized in early February off Tobago has stopped, said the twin islands’ government on Thursday.

Workers from state own Heritage Petroleum Oil and Gas Company clean up an oil spill that reached Rockly Bay beach, in Scarborough, south western Tobago,

The spill, which was first spotted off the coast of Tobago’s Atlantic coast on Feb. 7, damaged some of the island’s mangrove and threatened its tourism and fishing sector. The spill also entered the Caribbean Sea, threatening nearby Venezuela and Caribbean islands, including Bonaire.

“The hydrocarbon discharge emanating from the overturned vessel located off the coast of Tobago has stopped,” said a release from Trinidad and Tobago’s ministry of energy.

The compartments of the vessel from which the oil was leaking are now filled with sea water above the leak point effectively blocking further flow of the fuel oil, the ministry said.

The government has hired remediation and salvage firms to help clean up the spill and salvage the leaking barge.

The volume of the spill, its origin, intended destination and ownership of the barge remain unknown. But Trinidad said the vessel carrying fuel oil was navigating alongside a tugboat that has not been located.