Bunker fuel contamination reported on Gulf Coast

(HOUSTON) — Contaminated marine fuel led to fouled engines on about a dozen vessels operating from the U.S. Gulf Coast this spring, according to a new report from Reuters, citing Lloyd’s Register and the marine fuel testing service Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS).

The tainted fuel was the first major occurrence along the U.S. Gulf Coast since 2018, when about 200 ships had engines fouled by fuel containing an epoxy, said Steve Bee, group commercial and business development director at VPS.

The testing firm found “significantly high levels” of the chemical dicyclopentadiene and related compounds in tests of low sulfur bunker fuel deliveries in Houston made by a single supplier between March and May, VPS said.

Eleven vessels have lost power and propulsion at sea, the company said, pointing to a customer report of failed fuel pump and fuel injectors.


By Rich Miller