Several Otago motorists suffered spluttering engines after
buying petrol contaminated with water from BP and Mobil
stations yesterday afternoon.
BP communications and external affairs manager Jonty Mills
said the company became aware that 91-octane petrol tanks
were contaminated at its Regent, Dunedin North and Oamaru BP
sites about 5pm and 6pm.
The sites closed their 91-octane fuel tanks as soon as they
were aware of the problem, but the stations remained open.
A "handful" of motorists who filled up at those stations had
since reported having running problems and BP had helped some
customers clean out their fuel systems.
The incident was found to have stemmed from the industry
terminal in Dunedin, where it appeared some water got into a
91-octane storage tank, he said.
The terminal was a shared facility, used by BP and Mobil, and
"a couple" of delivery trucks drew fuel from the affected
tank at the terminal before the problem was discovered and
the tank locked down.
An investigation into what happened was under way.
He said the situation was very unusual and BP was taking it
BP's engineering contractors, Fuelquip, were working on the
tanks at the affected petrol stations.
"Water in the fuel is not a good thing," Mr Mills said.
The 91-octane tanks at the stations would need to be pumped
out into another truck and refilled before they were
Any BP customers who filled up at the affected stations
yesterday and believed they had a problem with their vehicle
should call the BP helpline on 0800 800-027, Mr Mills said.
It is understood at least one Mobil station was also
Mobil was unable to be contacted for comment last night.