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Oil spill reaches Rayong beaches

BANGKOK: Oil from the underwater pipeline leak in the Gulf of Thailand earlier this week has now reached beaches in Rayong province.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 29 January 2022, 10:18AM

It may take up to a month to clean affected beach areas, the Royal Thai Navy reported, said the Bangkok Post, citing a Reuters report.

The leak from a pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining Plc started late on Tuesday, releasing an estimated 50,000 litres of oil into the sea some 20 kilometres offshore from Rayong province.

The leak was reportedly brought under control a day later.

An area of 47 square kilometres of the sea was affected before the oil reached the Rayong shoreline yesterday, a satellite image from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency showed.

Pollution Control Department Director-General Attapon Charoenchansa told reporters late yesterday while inspecting Mae Ramphueng Beach in Rayong’s Muang district that the oil spill had reached the shoreline.

Oil spill dispersants used over the past few days had likely lessened the impact from the spill, Mr Attapon said.

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Officers and personnel from the navy, Star Petroleum and other trained volunteers will help clean the oil from the beach, he said.

Star Petroleum workers had earlier unfurled long inflatable oil boom barriers near the tide line to try and keep the slick from spoiling the beaches. 

Authorities have previously warned the spill could affect the nearby Khao Lam Ya National Park, which is home to exotic coral reefs and marine life.

Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate told reporters on Friday that the government has filed an official complaint to seek compensation for the damages the oil spill caused.

This is not the first time residents in Rayong have been exposed to a major oil spill from an undersea pipeline. In 2013 a leak from an underwater pipeline blackened beaches in Rayong and caused environmental damage that affected fishing and tourism and took months to restore, the report noted.

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Pooliekev | 30 January 2022 - 14:15:42

Kurt just hates Thailand, it jumps out of everything he posts. 

JohnC | 30 January 2022 - 09:21:34

@kurt. Is there anything you don't think you are an expert at or don't know everything about?

Kurt | 30 January 2022 - 08:44:15

50,000 ltr, better think about more, in 1 day flowed into sea before they noticed/closed pipe line.. How can? Are there no people working at flow measuring and control stations? Are there along the lines no pressure switches installed after that 2013 disaster. Well, not handling it smart, than try a disaster again..

Kurt | 29 January 2022 - 11:05:07

Seems Government didn't learn from the 2013 experience. No measures were developed/invented to prevent a repetition. There are vessels on the market that can move out sprinkler & scooping arms, spray oil spill with chemicals to break it down/scope before reaching beaches. Are Thai beaches not worth to get such vessels, not sounding better than buying submarines? Beaches bring in tourism.


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