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bp response to article on the grounding of Wakashio

12 January 2021

An article, “Explosive Documents Reveal BP Behind Toxic Mauritius Oil Spill”, published on forbes.com on 6 January alleged that bp was involved in the grounding of the bulk carrier Wakashio off Mauritius on 25 July 2020.


bp absolutely rejects the baseless allegations and insinuations contained in this article. 

bp involvement

On 14 July, bp in Singapore supplied fuel oil to the bulk carrier Wakashio. The fuel was sold to Mitsui OSK Ltd (MOL), the charterer of the vessel. The vessel is owned by Nagashiki Shipping.


This is the limit of bp’s involvement with the vessel and the voyage in question.


Fuel quality

The fuel supplied – very low sulphur fuel oil, or VLSFO – fully met the specified standard that is recognised across the international bunkering industry (International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard ISO-8217-2020).


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.


We are not aware of anything to indicate that fuel quality contributed to the vessel’s grounding. Indeed, initial investigations reported on ship operator MOL’s website in December 2020 point explicitly to safety and navigation issues as the probable cause. They make no reference to mechanical issues.


Requests for information

Furthermore, bp has not hindered or impeded any investigation.


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.


bp is committed to supplying high quality marine fuels to our customers, including VLSFO which was introduced as the global standard a year ago after years of preparation. We have worked for many years, together with partners and customers, to improve the safety and environmental impact of the shipping industry and continue to do so.


To repeat in conclusion, the allegations and insinuations contained in this article are baseless and we reject them completely.