Staatsolie CEO Annand Jagesar denies to the news press that the oil slicks in the Suriname River come from the parastatal company. The Probios Foundation stated at a press conference on Tuesday – based on its own research – that the oil slicks were caused by Staatsolie. Samples have been taken that show that it is crude oil, which can only be found at Staatsolie. In addition, chairman Erlan Sleur has discovered an ‘oil spill’ at a cove behind the refinery on Tout Lui Faut. Floating barriers have been deployed there to keep the oil under control. Probios further states – on the basis of satellite images – that there have been leaks before.
Jagesar said that they have fully cooperated with MAS and NCCR. They helped mobilize the cleanup and also analyzed several oil samples to help determine where the oil might come from. And they have confirm that the oil is not coming from them and they will take appropriate measures against Probios.
Sleur believes that a puppet show has been staged by Staatsolie, NCCR and other authorities in order to cover up the case.
Sleur and board member Kenneth Sukul presented their findings at a press conference. They indicated that since October 9 reports of oil spills on the river were already known by social media. At least one journalist tries to find out more a day or two later through Nimos. But without result. On October 13, the Communication Service Suriname (CDS) released a video from NCCR that oil slicks have been discovered, that the cause is unknown and ‘samples’ have been taken for research. On October 24, Probios will announce a press conference about the oil spills. The same evening, an update from NCCR appears, stating that the oil has been largely cleaned up, the results of the ‘samples’ that were taken in collaboration with Nimos and Staatsolie, and that the case has been handed over to the Public Prosecution Service.
Sleur has been on the road after the first video from NCCR. The trail of oil spills is more than 3 kilometers long, parts of banks and mangroves are black with oil. First impressions were that due to the stickiness of the oil and that it was floating in tufts and not spread evenly over the water, it was crude. The only one that has this oil in house is Staatsolie. But at Staatsolie – along the banks and jetty at least – everything was clean. There were almost no traces of oil spills. During a second round past the Staatsolie refinery, Sleur discovered an inlet that was not immediately noticeable. There it looked black with oil. Floating barricades (containment booms) should prevent the oil from spreading further.
Sleur and Sukul went to view satellite images of the Staatsolie refinery on Google Earth. The cove in question shows a black spot. The duo also looked at older pictures and came to two conclusions. That the cove more often has a black spot. The second is a canal that runs along the complex also turns black when the cove is black, and is also clean when the cove is clean. The samples also show that it is crude oil, almost ‘asphalt’ degree. Crude oil does not distribute itself equally over a water surface but in ‘patches’ and does not lie flat like, for example, lubricating oil. Rut is most concerned about the mangrove. The plantings are terribly affected and cleaning is impossible, he says. He is very disappointed in Staatsolie. He believes that a ‘puppet show’ has been played together with NCCR in recent weeks. And now that his own research has shown that oil spills are more frequent, he finds it very striking that some companies and even fishermen directly involved are not publicizing the problem.
Probios wants Staatsolie to be honest about the oil spills. Sleur announces that he will soon go to the Public Prosecution Service. But he said that he wanted to inform society first.