A heavily vegetated piece of land, said to be two to three acres and complete with wildlife, was up to yesterday still floating slowly some six to seven miles off Icacos in the Gulf of Paria. But as nature takes it course, what is being seen as a “phenomenon” by villagers and others, has already grabbed the attention of the relevant authorities including those in the oil and gas industry.
Cedros councillor Shankar Teelucksingh said concerns are mounting that the vast acreage of the floating mass is perilously close to active oil wells in the Gulf of Paria. Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Teelucksingh said the piece of land was seen near the south west Soldado rock. He wants the authorities to place markers or issue a bulletin to seafarers.
“We are fortunate that it didn’t pass through the south west oil field because it would have caused some devastation to those active wells,” Teelucksingh said.
“The last report we got is that it was heading towards one of the Venezuelan oil rigs. It is moving very slow under strong current and poses a threat to marine vessels.” He said he was aware Petrotrin (Trinmar operations) is monitoring the movement of the “island” which, Teelucksingh said, was spotted on Thursday about two miles off Icacos. He said one fisherman who visited the island reportedly caught three iguanas. “We know what is on top (island) as there is healthy vegetation. From what I have been told, the plant life including the trees are very healthy. We are also being told it could be more than the two to three acres we believe it to be.”
Teelucksingh, a resident in the Cedros community and also employed with Trinmar further told Newsday formations which appeared in the sea in the past have been different to what is now being seen.
Newsday also spoke to Dr Glen Ramadharsingh, chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation who said he and a team will visit the area tomorrow to get a first hand look and be better informed. “It is something we are monitoring as we are being told it can affect oil and gas exploration,” he said. “This needs a proper investigation.”