The third-party strike by a mechanical digger last Thursday on the 168-kilometer pipeline that carries jet fuel, petrol and diesel directly from the oil refinery at Marsden Point in Northland to tanks in Wiri, south Auckland has forced a fuel shortage at Auckland airport and the rationing fuel supplies to airlines.

The leak disrupted the travel plans of thousands of air passengers, and fuel companies are struggling to avoid a shortage of gasoline and diesel in Auckland. The pipeline is expected to be out of service for two weeks because of the difficult access to the accident site near Ruakaka and the requirement to certify any repairs.

This incident is also a reminder that no matter how well a pipeline company maintains and operates its pipelines there is always the risk that a third party will blunder in a cause a spill. It is important to have a good leak detection and response program to minimize the consequence of such accidents.


Categories: Industry update

By: Atmos International
Date: 15 April 2019