A large oil terminal in the Bahamas was damaged during Hurricane Dorian, spilling an unknown amount of oil on the surrounding ground. None is believed to have leaked into the water.
The roofs on five tanks at the South Riding Point oil holding facility for Equinor, a Norwegian energy company, were ripped off by the Category 5 storm's, 185 mph winds.
"Oil has been observed on the ground outside of the onshore tanks," Equinor officials said in a statement. "It is too early to indicate any volumes. At this point there are no observations of any oil spill at sea"
BP BREAKING | STATOIL facility in East End Grand Bahama an environmental disaster unfolding following Hurricane Dorian passage. pic.twitter.com/g0cDZ51ULj— Bahamas Press (@Bahamaspress) September 6, 2019
The facility can hold up to 6.75 million barrels.
Sam Teicher, with Coral Vita, a group that works to protect reefs, toured the area near the facility Thursday.
"The white cylinders were covered with oil slick, and there were slicks going well around the facility and out into the road and the forest," Teicher told NPR. "There were a few workers there assessing the damage, but very few people have been able to even get out to that point."
Absolutely CATASTROPHIC #oilspill in #GrandBahama from #HurricaneDorian at the #Statoil / @Equinor facility. Teams need to be here TODAY to a) prevent a fire from starting (oil across the highway where people are trying to help) b) stop any/all spillage to ocean and c) clean up pic.twitter.com/8u3e2BDYdY— Coral Vita (@CoralVitaReefs) September 5, 2019
The facility was closed Aug. 31 in preparation for the storm and will remain closed, company officials said.
"The situation in the Bahamas is still challenging and infrastructure has sustained severe damage," the company said in a statement. "All required resources are being mustered and our primary concern is to ensure the safety of our employees and the environment. We are mobilizing people and equipment to respond to the spill as soon as possible."
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