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Delta Tankers say cameras show 'no proof' ship leaked oil off Brazil

Greek shipowner Delta Tankers says cameras and sensors from the tanker Bouboulina show “no proof” that it leaked crude oil that has polluted 2,100 km of Brazil’s coastline.

The Brazilian authorities accuse the 2006-built, suezmax tanker, Bouboulina of being the source of oil pollution that has washed up on the Brazilian coastline over the last two months. The authorities say the Bouboulina spilt crude oil about 700 km off the Brazilian coastline on 28 – 29 July after loading in Venezuela. Brazil has so far collected 2,000 tonnes of oil sludge from its coastline.

Delta Tankers said in a statement: “There is no proof of the vessel having stopped, conducted any kind of STS operation (Ship to Ship), oil leaked/spilled, slowed down or veered off course, on its passage from Venezuela to Melaka, Malaysia.”

The tanker owner said it had conducted a full search of cameras and sensors onboard the vessel as well as data such as course alterations, stoppages, and speed.

“This material will be willingly shared with Brazilian authorities, should they contact the company this investigation. So far, no such contact has been made,” the company stated.

Delta Tankers said the laden Bouboulina departed Venezuela on 19 July and sailed without any stops to Malacca, Malaysia where it discharged its entire cargo without any shortages.

Brazil meanwhile reported to be seeking damages from the shipowner. “There is strong evidence that the company, the captain and the vessel’s crew failed to communicate to authorities about the oil spill/release of the crude oil in the Atlantic Ocean,” Brazilian prosecutors said in a statement, Reuters reported.