MP Lee concerned about pipeline integrity

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee. –

Pointe-a-Pierre MP David Lee said on Tuesday the rupture to a 16-inch diameter oil pipeline has raised “serious concerns” about the integrity of one of the state’s key assets.

Others now being question include pipelines, equipment and all infrastructure utilised by Heritage, specifically those running through residential communities.

The Opposition MP questioned whether Heritage Petroleum Co Ltd is sacrificing key asset integrity and maintenance to generate high profits.

Lee said it is of national concern that the same weekend when Heritage’s billion-dollar profit was announced, four families in Fyzabad were displaced by the oil leak.

Lee said the entire community was also disrupted, including damage to its key drainage infrastructure due to an oil leak from pipelines belonging to Heritage.

“As the state’s oil company, taxpayers have a right to know what is the cause of these significantly detrimental occurrences on a consistent basis,” the statement said.

“This is the second time in six months this has occurred given the on-land oil spill in Guayaguayare in February and third in as many years, taking into account the spill in the Godineau River, which affected Woodland residents in 2020.” Lee said events like oil leaks warrant a public enquiry into the asset management of Heritage specifically as it relates to the company’s timely monitoring, maintenance as well as integrity of its assets, such as pipelines, for the preservation of the environment, communities, and human life.

“Is it that Heritage lacks the proper asset maintenance personnel as was once hired at Petrotrin? Is it that Heritage is disregarding the proper asset integrity and maintenance methods once used by Petrotrin?” Lee questioned.

“These are serious concerns which the Minister of Energy must address. It is key that Heritage works with the MP for Fyzabad to ensure proper compensation for the affected residents and community.”