The recent furnace oil overflow from the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery was due to inadequate supervision and operation of the slop oil being stored in pits or tanks in the Oil Refineries, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's (CPC) Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya wing's (JSS) Secretary Ananda Palitha said.
He told the Daily Mirror that this overflow of oil cannot be treated as an oil leak.
"The Slop Oil, by definition, is considered crude oil which is emulsified with water and solids rendering it a waste stream that cannot be sent down the pipeline. This type is not an environmental friendly. Therefore the Slop Oil being stored in pits or tanks," he said
"These oil pits need to have a proper supervision, as they get filled occasionally with water since that is stored underground. The petroleum corporation occasionally uses gully bowsers to suck and empty the pits. However, with the current rainy weather conditions, the pits are filled with water and spills off. This, not an oil leak," he said.
However, the situation is now under control. The officers of the CPC, Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guards have deployed to skim the furnace oil from the floodwaters and prevent further spread and from reaching the Kelani River. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)