Diaz Beach oil spill ‘caused by tankers’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JA­NINE OELOFSE

PET­ROSA yes­ter­day de­nied re­spon­si­bil­ity for an oil spill on Mos­sel Bay’s Diaz Beach, sug­gest­ing the con­tam­i­na­tion was pos­si­bly caused by crude oil tankers clean­ing their tanks off the South­ern Cape coast.

Spokesman Thabo Mabaso said in a state­ment Pet­rosa wished “to as­sure the pub­lic it is not re­spon­si­ble for the oil pol­lu­tion that has re­cently been de­tected at Mos­sel Bay’s Diaz Beach”.

Af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Pet­rosa, the Mos­sel Bay mu­nic­i­pal­ity and marine ser­vices com­pany Smit Amandla, the puffy- like lumps of oil were iden­ti­fied as “typ­i­cal of con­tam­i­na­tion that re­sults from heavy oil that has been ex­posed to the el­e­ments”.

“This form of con­tam­i­na­tion is mainly the case af­ter ves­sels clean their bunker tanks while at sea. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion also re­vealed the oil con­tam­i­na­tion was blown in from the sea. All the par­ties to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion also agreed Pet­rosa is not re­spon­si­ble for the con­tam­i­na­tion.”

Spe­cial­ists at Pet­rosa’s lab­o­ra­tory an­a­lysed a sam­ple of the con­tam­i­na­tion and con­firmed the prod­uct was not pro­duced by Pet­rosa.

“Pet­rosa does not ship heavy oil. The heav­i­est hy­dro­car­bon prod­uct Pet­rosa trans­ports by sea is diesel. It is highly un­likely for diesel to form solid lumps of the type found at Diaz Beach.” – Gar­den Route Me­dia

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