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30 December 2011

PetroSA denies responsibility for oil pollution at Diaz Beach, Mossel Bay

State-owned oil company PetroSA on Friday said it was not responsible for the oil pollution at Diaz Beach in Mossel Bay.

An investigation by PetroSA personnel, the Mossel Bay municipality and marine services company Smit Amandla had identified the "puffy-like lumps" as typical of contamination from heavy oil that had been exposed to the sun and sea, the company said in a statement.

"This form of contamination is mainly the case after vessels clean their bunker tanks while at sea," the company said.

"The investigation also revealed that the oil contamination was blown in from the sea. All the parties to the investigation also agreed that PetroSA is not responsible for the contamination."

A sample of the oil had been analysed by PetroSA's laboratory. The results confirmed the product found at Diaz Beach was not the company's.

"It is also important to note that PetroSA does not ship heavy oil. The heaviest hydrocarbon product that PetroSA transports by sea is diesel. It is highly unlikely for diesel to form solid lumps of the nature found at Diaz Beach."

-- Sapa