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Jul 25, 2014

Drilling equipment lands on Temash National Park

U.S. Capital Energy is tonight one step closer to drilling for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.  On Thursday, a convoy of vehicles carrying heavy equipment used to set up a drill rig entered the country at the northern border.  The fleet is the first of several containing the necessary items to be used for the erection of the platform at Temash Two.  Company representatives say that the assembly of the rig is expected to be completed within a month.  The arrival of the equipment comes at a time when mediation should be taking place between U.S. Capital and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, in light of a Supreme Court ruling affirming customary land rights.  U.S. Capital’s management team claims that it has instead met with the leadership of the Toledo Alcalde Association to address issues and concerns. This afternoon, News Five spoke by phone with Doctor Michael Tewes, U.S. Capital’s Health, Safety and Environment Manager.


Via Phone: Dr. Michael Tewes, Health, Safety & Environment Manager, U.S. Capital Energy

Michael Tewes

“We are informing the general public that today we received the first convoy of trucks carrying the drill rig, as had been contracted by U.S. Capital to drill the first exploratory hole at our drill site in Toledo.  Yesterday we met with the leadership of the Toledo Alcalde Association to address their concerns and to update them on our activities.  We also took them on a tour of our drill site and informed on our mitigation measures to address environmental concerns.  As well, we discussed the safety issues of the site and we pointed out the dangers that unaccompanied persons face if they enter the area.  This site is now and will now be a dangerous worksite if the proper protocols are not followed.  We will, whenever possible, take small groups of leaders to the site in a controlled manner to ensure their personal safety.  As well, we would like to inform the general public that the site is a worksite and unauthorized visits and unauthorized persons should therefore not be in the area unaccompanied.”


Isani Cayetano

“Dr. Tewes, I understand that the convoy of trucks carrying the equipment came through the northern border and it’s the first of several such trips.  Can you talk to us about the number of vehicles that will be coming into the country with equipment to set up in the drill site area?”


Via Phone: Dr. Michael Tewes

“These drill rigs are set up in an organized manner, the base comes first and each subsequent truck that comes in builds on top of the base until the last one finalizes the assembly and it is dismantled in the same way.  So the convoy comes in a particular order.  We expect to have about fifty-two truckloads coming in, unloading, assembling and then returning back.  But the convoys, we expect, will be anywhere between eight and twelve trucks at a time.”


Isani Cayetano

“Have you ascertained based on your studies within the area what the average depth would be in terms of the drilling?”


Via Phone: Dr. Michael Tewes

“Well, we have our environmental compliance plan which allows us to drill, I believe it’s down to three thousand meters; however, as you are drilling you are testing the material that’s coming up and wherever petroleum is located, you know, that’s the place where we will stop.  So at this point we really can’t say exactly how deep the well will be.”


Isani Cayetano

“How long will it take for you guys to assemble the equipment and commence the actual drilling activity?”


Via Phone: Dr. Michael Tewes

“Okay, now that the equipment is coming in it takes about three weeks or so for the entire rig to come in, so therefore, sometime towards the middle or end of next month we will start drilling.”


It is expected that drilling should commence around mid-August.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Drilling equipment lands on Temash National Park”

  1. Steve D says:

    What a sad commentary on this administration when greed and corruption allow a national park to be desecrated. You won’t find this happening in other countries such as Costa Rica who also depend on eco-tourism for even a bare bones existence. It’s not one party or the other, it’s a system that allows what should be permanently protected land to be exploted

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