About 30 motorists in Dunedin and Oamaru encountered engine
problems after filling their vehicles with contaminated
petrol last Friday.
The fuel had been contaminated with water during "routine
pipeline testing" at a terminal in Dunedin earlier in the
The contaminated 91-octane petrol was delivered to three BP
sites, Regent on George St, Dunedin North on Cumberland St,
and Oamaru BP, and Mobil Northgate on Cumberland St. The
91-octane fuel tanks at these stations were closed after the
problem was discovered. All had since been cleaned and
BP communications and external affairs manager Jonty Mills
said about 15 Oamaru customers and three in Dunedin had
Mobil Northgate owner Beven O'Callaghan said 12 customers had
Mr Mills said BP had provided five rental cars to Oamaru
customers, and four mechanics were brought to the site to
repair affected vehicles.
Mr O'Callaghan said the contamination was noticed when
vehicles that had been filled up "couldn't leave the
"[The vehicles] that we organised to have repaired are all on
the road now, with new filters and fresh fuel." A couple of
customers had taken their vehicles to other workshops, which
were closed for the weekend, and so were yet to get their
cars back on the road.
Any others who believed they had been affected could contact
any Dunedin Mobil outlet, Mr O'Callaghan said. It was "rare"
for petrol to be contaminated.
Mr Mills said the petrol was believed to have been
contaminated on Friday during routine testing of a pipeline
at the industry terminal in Dunedin, which is owned by BP and
operated by New Zealand Oil Services Ltd.
The terminal services both Mobil and BP stations in Dunedin
and the surrounding area.
A couple of trucks loaded 91-octane fuel from the terminal
and delivered it to the affected sites.
The terminal tank was closed at 6.30pm on Friday. The problem
was rectified and the tank was operating again about noon on
How the water entered the pipe was subject to a "full
investigation", Mr Mills said.