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October 27, 2018
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EPA temporarily suspends Byco’s pumping operations

Business

October 27, 2018

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KARACHI: Byco Petroleum’s pumping operations of single point mooring (SPM) have temporarily been suspended after two trails of oil spillage were observed close to the beach in Balochistan, sources said on Friday.

An official of Byco Petroleum confirmed that the operations of single point mooring (SPM) were temporarily off as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) was conducting its survey of the pipeline.

“The operations will be restored as soon as the EPA gives it a go-ahead, which is likely today (on Friday) as no traces of oil spill were found from the SPM line,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

Reports of an oil spill near Mubarak village have been doing rounds since Thursday. The ministry of maritime said two trails of slight oil spillage were observed close to the beach south east of Cape Monze light house.

“The minor oil spill at Mubarak village beach area is being cleaned,” the ministry said in a statement. “An enquiry is being undertaken to ascertain the nature of the spill to establish the causes and likely source. Ministry of Petroleum Division has also confirmed the same.”

The ministry said the pumping operations from Byco’s shore lines to SPM have been suspended.

“PMSA (Pakistan Maritime Security Agency) is coordinating with all the relevant stakeholders to plug in support for cleanup the spillage.”

Earlier, media reports attributed the oil spill near Mubarak Village to a nearby oil refinery or other unknown source.

Byco categorically denied the claims that oil spill into the area was caused by its refineries, saying operation of its refineries continued.

“No leak or loss of containment has taken place from any of its installations,” it said in a statement to the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Byco continues to operate its crude oil refineries.

Byco said Balochistan’s Environmental Protection Agency (BEPA) and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency both confirmed that there is “no oil spill from Byco’s SPM or pipeline”.

BEPA Director Muhammad Khan Uthmankhail conducted an investigation following reports of an oil spillage in the region of Mubarak Village on the coast of Balochistan.

“No oil spill from (Byco’s) SPM or pipeline has been observed,” Byco quoted Uthmankhail writing in the official investigation report. Byco said the BEPA’s official visited the SPM and interviewed the naval staff of the Maritime Security Agency in the area, who also confirmed that they had not witnessed any oil spillage at the Byco SPM or installations.

The company said the MSA wrote in the official statement that they could not find any evidence of an oil spill near Byco’s facilities.

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