THE leaking oil well in the Gulf of Paria has been successfully capped in an incident free exercise on Thursday.
The Ministry of Energy is however warning marine craft operators to maintain a distance of at least three nautical miles from the wellsite.
In a press release issued late on Thursday, the Ministry stated that the well was successfully brought under control at 12 noon that day. The "shut in well" located off the coast of Orange valley in Couva developed a leak on July 4, and had been emitting a combination of gas and oil since then.
The Ministry stated that the "well kill plan" which went into effect around 6 am on Thursday was the result of several days of strategising and planning to ensure the well was brought under control without injury to personnel involved as well as with minimal impact to the environment .
According to the release, the capping is significant and represents the initial stage in the formal abandonment process through which the well will be properly capped and the threat to health, safety and the environment removed.
The Ministry said operations are still in progress at the wellsite and marine craft operators are asked to continue to maintain an exclusion area with a radius of three nautical miles. The Ministry commended the members of the Incident command Team and all parties involved in the well control and containment activities for their work and for ensuring there were no accidents or incidents throughout the exercise..