Small oil spill reported at Raroa
22 November 2010
Small oil spill reported at Raroa
OMV New Zealand reported that a small oil spill had occurred on Saturday at the FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading vessel) Raroa permanently moored at the Maari oil field some 80km out to sea off the Taranaki coast.
The Raroa is owned and operated by Tanker Pacific which is under contract to the Maari joint venture partners. OMV New Zealand operates the Maari field on behalf of the JV.
Regulator Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) was notified immediately. From the Raroa, a thin sheen had been seen that disappeared several tens of metres from the boat. OMV mobilised a helicopter to fly over the area with a trained observer. No oil was visible on the water. It is believed that the amount of oil leaked was very small, but work is still being done to confirm the actual volume.
It is expected that the oil will continue to break down naturally. OMV will continue to monitor the situation carefully and remains prepared to support MNZ should the situation change.
Production has been shut-in at the facility as a precaution and will remain shut-in until the leak has been isolated. A routine cargo offload has also been undertaken.
“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,” said Dr Wayne Kirk, Managing Director, OMV New Zealand. The two spills are not believed to be linked.
Last month on 18 October during de-ballasting operations, oil was noticed on the water near the Raroa. The operation was quickly stopped and MNZ was notified. A flight over the area indicated there was no sign of the oil within two hours of the discharge so no further action could be taken. Measures have been implemented to ensure this type of accidental discharge will not happen again.
Last week, however, globules of oil were spotted on several beaches along the Kapiti Coast.
“While the source of that oil is still unknown, we’ve taken a prudent approach. Even though independent experts have indicated the environmental impact of the small oil globules is low, we OMV organised a clean up of the area with OMV and Tanker Pacific staff volunteers. This was started on Friday and completed Saturday,” he explained.
He said staff will also monitor the Kapiti Coast beaches over the next week to observe and respond if the situation changes. OMV has also sent samples to be analysed to determine if the oil found is Maari oil.
“OMV – both worldwide and here in New Zealand – has a very good environmental track record and we take any release of oil into the environment very seriously,” Dr Kirk said.
“OMV sincerely regrets the recent incidents on the Raroa. We’re committed to working closely with Tanker Pacific to ensure best practices are followed to minimise any environmental risks.”
The Raroa is owned and operated by Tanker Pacific which is under contact to the Maari joint venture partners. OMV New Zealand operates the Maari field on behalf of the JV. The Raroa is 250 metres long and 40 metres wide and is permanently anchored 1.5 km from the Well Head Platform at the Maari oil field. It has the twin functions of processing and temporary oil storage. The Raroa has an oil storage capacity of 590,000 barrels; oil is transferred to off-take tankers around once a fortnight depending on production rates. It provides accommodation for up to 50 people.
OMV in New Zealand
OMV New Zealand is this country’s largest liquid hydrocarbon producer and the third largest gas producer.
It has been active here since 1999 when it acquired shares in the Maari oil discovery which it developed and now operates. Focusing strictly on exploration and production in New Zealand, OMV New Zealand currently holds shares in the Maui and Pohokura gas fields and the Maui pipeline. OMV New Zealand also has 9 offshore exploration permits in the Taranaki and Great South Basin regions.
OMV New Zealand is a subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, also known as the OMV Group.
OMV Aktiengesellschaft With Group sales of EUR 17.92 bn and a workforce of 34,676 employees in 2009, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. As the leading energy Group in the European growth belt, OMV is active in Refining & Marketing (R&M) in 12 countries. In Exploration & Production (E&P) OMV is active in 16 countries on four continents. In Gas & Power (G&P) OMV sells approximately 13 bcm gas per year. Through its 2,000 km long gas pipeline network OMV in Austria G&P transports approximately 75 bcm gas annually. OMV’s Central European Gas Hub is with around 23 bcm annual trading volume one of the most important gas hubs in Continental Europe.
OMV is the leading energy Group in the European growth belt with oil and gas reserves of approximately 1.19 bn boe, daily production of around 316,000 boe in Q3/10 and an annual refining capacity of approximately 26 mn t. OMV now has 2,310 filling stations as of Q3/10. The market share of the group in the R&M business segment in the Danube Region is now 20%.
OMV further strengthened its leading position in the European growth belt through the acquisition of a stake in of Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s leading company in the retail and commercial business.
Under its 3plus strategy, OMV combines the strengths of its E&P, G&P and R&M business units in order to ensure that it provides the best possible supply service to its three core markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe and Turkey. OMV uses the synergies that result from the combination of these strengths to extend its supply chain from oil and gas through to electricity and eventually renewable energy.
Sustainability OMV is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, and an active supporter to the values enshrined in its Code of Conduct. These include a strong sense of responsibility towards the social and natural environment, especially in economically weak regions. OMV continuously addresses economic, environmental and social issues related to its business in a responsible manner. The Company reports on its activities in a sustainability report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines. This report is published at the same time as the annual report.