Oil spill contained and dispersed

Sep 9, 2004
Author: JP Louw, DEAT


At approximately midday on Tuesday 8 September 2004, an oil leak
developed at a single buoy mooring owned by SAPREF - a joint venture oil
refinery between Shell Oil and BP Oil. The Department of Environmental
Affairs and Tourism had immediately deployed its marine anti-pollution
vessel and aircraft to disperse and monitor the oil leak.

The Department can confirm that, contrary to various media statements,
less than 1 ton of oil was spilled and more than 90 percent was
effectively dispersed. The oil that leaked is a light Arabic oil unlike
crude. Some oil had unfortunately washed up on a nearby beach but this
is in the process of being cleaned up. No significant environmental
damage is immediately apparent. No marine animals appear to be adversely
affected at this stage. The Department's Kuswag anti-pollution vessel
and aircraft remain on alert.

The Department has today informed SAPREF's chief executive officer
that it requires a written report in terms of the National Environmental
Management Act, 107 of 1998, by 16:00 on 10 September 2004, explaining
why the leak had occurred, what steps were taken to inform members of
the public of any possible harm or damage and what remedial measures are
intended. A further detailed report is required in a fortnight. The
Department will decide on what measures to take against SAPREF
thereafter.


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