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BP denounces ‘baseless allegations’ of any involvement in ‘MV Wakashio’ oil spill

18 Jan 2021

BP Plc on Tuesday (12 January) published a statement rejecting allegations in an article published by Forbes entitled “Explosive Documents Reveal BP Behind Toxic Mauritius Oil Spill”.

The article alleges that BP was involved in the grounding of the bulk carrier Wakashio off Mauritius on 25 July 2020.

In the statement, BP “absolutely rejects the baseless allegations and insinuations contained in this article”.

BP went on to explain that on 14 July 2020, BP Singapore supplied fuel oil to the bulk carrier Wakashio.

The fuel was sold to Mitsui OSK Ltd (MOL), the charterer of the vessel, and the vessel is owned by Nagashiki Shipping.

“This is the limit of BP’s involvement with the vessel and the voyage in question,” said the company.

“The fuel supplied – very low sulphur fuel oil, or VLSFO – fully met the specified standard that is recognised across the international bunkering industry (International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard ISO-8217-2020).

“This was confirmed by separate analyses carried out by BP and an independent inspection company appointed by MOL.

“MOL raised no concerns about the quality of the oil, nor have the operators of seven other vessels that received the same fuel. A number of the properties of the oil that are alleged in the article do not correspond with these analyses.

“We are not aware of anything to indicate that fuel quality contributed to the vessel’s grounding. Indeed, initial investigations reported on ship operator MOL’s website in December 2020 point explicitly to safety and navigation issues as the probable cause. They make no reference to mechanical issues.”

The company notes it has not hindered or impeded any investigation.

“We received requests for information on the fuel from Australian and Singapore authorities,” it said.

“We referred the Australian authority to MOL, which has the results of the analysis carried out on the oil by the independent inspection company, and we provided the Singapore authority with the results of BP’s own analysis.

“We did not receive follow-up requests from these authorities and are not aware of requests from any other authorities.

“In conclusion, the allegations and insinuations contained in this article are baseless and we reject them completely.”

Related: MOL publishes measures to prevent ‘MV Wakashio’ grounding and oil spill reoccurrence
Related: MOL seventh update on “MV Wakashio” reveals plans for safe removal of stern
Related: Clyde & Co: After Wakashio, is the Bunker Convention fit for purpose?
Related: IMO continues to mitigate impact of Wakashio oil spill, though insurance is limited
Related: MOL releases second update on “MV Wakashio”, 1800 mt of fuel remain onboard
Related: MOL and Nagashiki Shipping release update on grounded bulk carrier “MV Wakashio”
Related: IMO supports Mauritius in “MV Wakashio” oil spill response issues with technical advice

Photo credit: International Maritime Organisation
Published: 18 January, 2021

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