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Friday, May 1, 2015  

Update: Response to fuel release at Mt Maunganui

Mobil continues to assist the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) and the Port of Tauranga in responding to the leak of fuel oil to Tauranga Harbour on Monday.

Mobil personnel are assisting with the clean-up of remaining fuel oil, and working at the Marina including providing help and advice for the cleaning of boats impacted by oil. Mobil has technical experts on site at the Mt Maunganui Terminal who have commenced an investigation into the incident, and will fully cooperate with BOPRC as they undertake their investigation consistent with their role under the Resource Management Act.

Mobil Oil New Zealand Country Manager Andrew McNaught said, “Our focus up until now has been on supporting the Council in an effective response to the incident.

“The initial stage of our investigation has looked at the bunkering operation, the sequence of events at the time of the incident, and the electronic data available such as pressure and flow rates.

“While it is difficult to make an accurate assessment of the volume lost given the circumstances, Mobil estimates the volume of fuel leaked into the Harbour to be approximately 1500 litres,” he said.

Fuel oil leaked into the harbour on 27 April during a ship bunkering operation, from two corrosion holes approximately 4mm in diameter in a 150mm diameter lateral pipeline.

“The investigation is continuing and the priority is to understand how this failure occurred. Further metallurgical testing of the pipe will be required to understand the specific cause, and this will take some weeks.

“The pipeline system to the wharf has been shut down until inspections and testing can be done on all sections of the pipeline branches along the wharf to ensure their ongoing integrity,” he said.

Mr McNaught visited Tauranga today and met with the on-scene Commander and others involved in the response.

“I would like to personally thank the teams at BOPRC, the Port of Tauranga and all others involved over the past few days, for their outstanding efforts on the response and clean-up. Mobil is committed to supporting the Council as they continue to lead the clean-up operations,” he said.

A claims process has been established to handle any claims directly resulting from the incident, and to date 38 calls have been received by the Claims line on 0800 692 524.


Samantha Potts
+61 (0) 428 686 386

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