To remind, the MV Wakashio, an unladen bulker, ran aground in Mauritius early in the evening on 25 July 2020. Pictures started circulating quickly, but intense media coverage only started two weeks later when fuel oil started leaking from the vessel. Over the coming weeks the story remained high-profile with frequent spikes in coverage associated with developments ranging from dead dolphins washing up on the shore to the vessel breaking up.
Now, media commented that BP bunkered unsafe very low sulfur fuel oil to Wakashio before its final voyage causing the ship to experience a serious engine failure.
The reports led to BP issuing a statement, according to which
BP absolutely rejects the baseless allegations and insinuations contained in this article.
The company added that on July 14,2020, it supplied fuel oil to Wakashio in Singapore. The fuel was sold to Mitsui OSK Ltd (MOL), the charterer of the vessel, adding that "this is the limit of bp’s involvement with the vessel and the voyage in question."
It is highlighted that the fuel supplied to the vessel was fully in line with the specified standard that is recognised across the international bunkering industry (International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard ISO-8217-2020).
Concerning the fuel, it is added that "This was confirmed by separate analyses carried out by bp and an independent inspection company appointed by MOL. MOL raised no concerns about the quality of the oil, nor have the operators of seven other vessels that received the same fuel. A number of the properties of the oil that are alleged in the article do not correspond with these analyses."
BP notes that although the initial investigation reported that incident was the result of safety and navigation issues, there was no mechanical issues reported.
The company added that
We received requests for information on the fuel from Australian and Singapore authorities. We referred the Australian authority to MOL, which has the results of the analysis carried out on the oil by the independent inspection company, and we provided the Singapore authority with the results of bp’s own analysis. We did not receive follow-up requests from these authorities and are not aware of requests from any other authorities.