Brazilian oil spill - not us claims Delta

Nov 08 2019

Delta Tankers has strongly denied that its Suezmax ‘Bouboulina’ was responsible for the oil spill currently affecting a large part of Brazil's coastline.

This denial came after the Brazilian authorities accused the tanker of causing the oil spill.

Delta said that it had conducted a full search of the material from cameras and sensors on board, carried on all the vessels as part of the company’s safety and environmental policies, to monitor activity on board, activity alongside the vessel, as well as course alternations, stoppages, speed, etc.

“There is no proof of the vessel having stopped, conducted any kind of STS operation (ship-to-ship cargo transfer), oil leaked/spilled, slowed down or veered off course, on its passage from Venezuela to Melaka, Malaysia.

“This material will be willingly shared with Brazilian authorities, should they contact the company this investigation. So far, no such contact has been made,” Delta said in a statement earlier this week.

‘Bouboulina’ sailed from Venezuela in laden condition on 19th July, 2019 bound for Melaka, Malaysia, where she discharged the whole cargo without any shortage, the company added.

Brazilian investigators said late last week that a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil that has been polluting thousands of kilometres of coastline over the past two months.

The investigators did not name the vessel, but prosecutors’ document seen by Reuters identified the ship as the ‘Bouboulina’.

The spill has now spread across all nine states in Brazil's Northeast Region and is the worst oil spill in Brazilian history. By the end of October, over 1,000 tonnes of oil has been cleaned up.

Later this week, the Brazilian authorities added four more tankers to its list of suspects, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

In the document, the four were named as the VLCCs ‘Maran Apollo’, ‘Maran Libra’, the Aframax ‘Minerva Alexandra’ and Suezmax ‘Cap Pembroke’.

However, the Brazilian Navy told the newswire that it would not comment on the news.

According to information taken from Refinitiv’s Eikon vessel tracking system, both Maran Tankers Management VLCCs berthed in Venezuela and then passed near Brazil’s Northeast coast on their way to Asia in the last six months.

Minerva’s Aframax apparently loaded oil in the US Gulf before sailing for Asia, also passing close to Brazil’s Northeast coast on her way south.

Euronav’s Suezmax ‘Cap Pembroke’ was shown to be operating in the Americas during the last six months, sailing between Canada and Brazil with calls in the US Gulf.

Reuters stressed that no comments were received from the three managers despite requests for clarification.


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