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OMV reports second Maari oil spill in a month
25 Nov 10
There has been an oil spill at one of the permanent floating vessels at the Maari oil field off the Taranaki coast, operator OMV says. The spill occurred on Saturday and the amount of oil leaked is believed to be very small, OMV says. While the company is still trying to ascertain the actual volume spilt, it says that a helicopter flyover did not identify oil visible on the water and expects the oil should break down naturally.

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OMV New Zealand managing director Wayne Kirk says that it is the second spill from the Raroa vessel in around a month. The vessel is owned and operated by Tanker Pacific under contract to the Maari joint venture partners – Todd Energy, Cue Energy and Horizon Oil.

"The team worked quickly to stop the leak thereby minimising the environmental impact. While this is a relatively small discharge, it is concerning as it is the second one we’ve had onboard the Raroa in recent weeks," Kirk says. "OMV sincerely regrets the recent incidents on the Raroa. We are committed to working closely with Tanker Pacific to ensure best practices are followed to minimise any environmental risks."

Production at the facility has been shut-in as a precaution, and will remain shut until the leak has been isolated.

Second spill

On October 18 oil was noticed on the water near the Raroa during de-ballasting operations. OMV says that a flight over the area indicated there was no sign of oil within two hours of the discharge and measures have been taken to ensure that type of accidental discharge does not happen again.

However, last week globules of oil were seen along the Kapiti cost, and OMV and Tanker Pacific staff organised a clean-up of the area.

"While the source of that oil is still unknown, we’ve taken a prudent approach," Kirk says.

In both leak instances the company says that Maritime New Zealand was notified immediately.

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