The activities of finding, producing and refinery petroleum, can impact the environment, and the greatest impact arises from the release of wastes into the environment in concentrations that are not naturally found. These wastes include hydrocarbons; solids contaminated with hydrocarbons and other pollutants, water contaminated with a variety of dissolved and suspended solids; a wide variety of chemicals and gaseous emissions contaminated with toxic chemicals.

The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (PETROTRIN), have developed a number of major capital intensive waste management programmes to ensure the Company's operations have minimal adverse impacts on the surrounding environment.

These programmes are:

  • Construction of three secondary waste water treatment plants.

  • Conversion of barometric condensers to surface condensers at two vacuum distillation units at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

  • Segregation of storm water drainage from process oily waste water.

  • Bioremediation of 126,000 barrels of oily wastes stored in two earthen pits at Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

  • Bioremediation of approximately 18,000 barrels of oily wastes stored in two earthen pits at Parrylands, Point Fortin oil field.

  • Installation of three Sulfa-Treat plants for treatment of hydrogen sulphide gas in production operations.

  • Installation of a Sulphur Recovery Unit at Pointe-a-Pierre refinery to convert hydrogen sulphide gas into solid sulphur.

  • Installation of internal floating roofs at five product storage tanks at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Steps are being taken by the Environmental Management Authority to strengthen legislation in the near future. Major capital improvements in the implementation of waste management systems by Petrotrin have resulted in reduced impacts on the environment. The overall effort of these proactive programmes has been worthwhile due to the enormous increase in the understanding of our environment and the improvements being achieved.

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