Clean-up operations to remove oil from Port of Tauranga and the New Zealand harbour’s inner waterways continue after an oil spill on 27 April.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s oil response team reported an unknown quantity of heavy fuel oil spilled into the harbour from a leaky Mobil pipeline being used during the refuelling of Matson Shipping vessel Olomana, at Port of Tauranga’s Mt Maunganui wharf on 27 April.
Heavy weather hampered clean-up operations until 28 April, when absorbent booms were deployed to contain the oil around the port. The regional council’s on-scene commander, Adrian Heays, said on 29 April that a helicopter survey that morning showed no more oil in the water, although shoreline oil clean-up continues.
Mobil Oil New Zealand has taken full responsibility for the leak and has said it will pay direct costs incurred in the spill response and clean-up. The company’s lead country manager, Andrew McNaught, said Mobil regrets the event occurred.
He said, “We apologise for the incident and for any concern and inconvenience caused to the community. We would assure them that we are working as quickly as possible to safely manage the situation, to clean up the leaked fuel oil, and to minimise the impact on the environment.”