ExxonMobil criticised over Bass Strait oil spill

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has criticised ExxonMobil for its failure to respond to an oil spill on February 1 near its West Tuna oil platform, about 45 kilometres off the Victorian coast in Bass Strait.

NOPSEMA said it had failed to identify the source of the leaks because its staff failed to follow procedures in collecting, testing and labelling oil samples because they did not have the required equipment, causing a “significant threat to the environment”.

The findings were contained in an environmental improvement notice made public on May 9. Exxon has been ordered to review its oil spill response training within 60 days or risk “additional enforcement action”.

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