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Wednesday, April 29, 2015  

Update: Response to fuel release at Mt Maunganui

Mobil continues to assist the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) in responding to the leak of fuel oil to Tauranga Harbour on Monday. Mobil’s efforts are focused on removing pockets of fuel oil which remain around the wharf where the leak occurred. Absorbent booms are being used in this process. Mobil has offered assistance to the Council including personnel to help with the shoreline clean-up which is continuing today under the direction of the BOPRC on-scene commander.

Mobil Oil New Zealand Country Manager Andrew McNaught apologised for the incident and any concern caused to the local community, “Mobil has commenced its own investigation into the incident, and will fully cooperate with the BOPRC as they conduct their investigations,” he said.

“Initial visual inspection of the pipeline has taken place and indicates that the fuel oil leak occurred from two small corrosion holes in a 150 mm diameter lateral pipeline. This short section of pipe (approximately three metres long) branches off the main pipeline along the wharf which carries fuel oil for ship bunkering,” said Mr McNaught.

“This section of pipe has been removed and visually inspected, and has been provided to the Council today. Preliminary engineering assessment is that the failure of the pipe appears unusual. Further testing in coming weeks by the Council including metallurgical assessment of the pipe will be required to understand the specific cause of the failure,” he said.

“There is no evidence that the pipeline had been tampered with,” he added.

“These pipelines are inspected on a quarterly basis, and a pressure test was conducted in March 2015 with no issues identified. The pipeline system to the wharf is currently shutdown, while we conduct inspections and test all sections of the pipeline branches along the wharf to confirm their ongoing integrity,” he said.

Mobil will consider claims for damage directly resulting from the leaked oil. A process has been established, and calls regarding claims can be directed to 0800 692 524.

Community queries can be directed to Mobil’s community hotline during business hours on 0800 895 011.


Media contact:
Samantha Potts
+61 (0) 428 686 386

Sandy Trigg
Network Communication
+64 (0) 21 231 9406