Temporary disruption to Marsden Point pipeline

Some flights from Auckland are being cancelled due to a fuel shortage

Some flights from Auckland are being cancelled due to a fuel shortage

While he wouldn't speculate on the impact it may cause, the Minister of Energy and Resources, Judith Collins, said the problem is now affecting jet fuel.

The problem arose after the pipeline which carries the jet fuel from the Marsden Point refinery was cut, by a digger lifting swamp kauri on a farm at Ruakaka, near Whangarei, the New Zealand Herald reports.

"Airlines operating at Auckland Airport have had their usual fuel allocations reduced". The fuel companies are confident that supply of these fuels will be maintained and it is unlikely that motorists will be inconvenienced.

"It's my understanding it's the sort of problem that will require government agencies and companies to work together", Prime Minister Bill English said.

Petrol and diesel can be trucked into Auckland by tanker, but the airport depends entirely on the pipeline and is now running out of stored supplies of aviation fuel.

The leak has caused "fuel supply" issues at Auckland Airport which advised passengers this morning to check online before heading to the airport.

Auckland Airport Chief Executive Mr Littlewood says the airport is working closely with airlines and other airport stakeholders, including the Board of Airlines Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), to monitor the impact of the temporary disruption on airlines and their operations with a particular focus on helping passengers manage through this period of disruption.

Any necessary schedule changes will be communicated to affected customers directly.

The Marsden Pt oil refinery reported a drop in pressure in the multi-product pipeline on Thursday afternoon.

NZ Refining spokesman Greg McNeill said the pipeline was likely to be shut down for at least several days, and two engineers were flying in from Canada tomorrow.

There is now no indication as to when leak will fixed, but until then no fuel can be sent down the pipeline.

The section of pipe is on farm land and the recovery process is underway, but Mr McNeill was unable to say how long it would take to fix the leak.

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