September 12, 2019 / 1:57 PM / 11 days ago

Oil spill clean-up at Equinor's Bahamas terminal underway after Dorian damage

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, at the company's headquarters in Fornebu, Norway, May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Nerijus Adomaitis/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Equinor has begun cleaning up an onshore oil spill at its South Riding Point terminal in the Bahamas, which was damaged by Hurricane Dorian, and said on Thursday it will step up the operation in the coming days.

Equinor had previously said aerial surveillance spotted a suspected spill in open waters 70 to 80 km (43 to 49 miles) northeast of the terminal, where 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent were being stored at the time the hurricane hit.

There were currently no indications, however, that the potential offshore spill originated from the terminal, the company added.

A spill response team has started to recover oil from the ground and move it into tank storage, with recovery expected to be stepped up over the coming days, Equinor said in a statement.

An Equinor spokesman said it expected to bring more heavy machinery from the United States on Friday, and planned to send more people to the terminal on Grand Bahama Island, but plans were still being finalised.

The South Riding Point storage and reloading terminal has a capacity of 6.75 million barrels.

Another suspected spill south east of the terminal has been confirmed to be a patch of seaweed, the spokesman said.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik and Alexander Smith

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