Oil spill reaches shoreline in Rayong

Oil spill reaches shoreline in Rayong

As beach cleanup begins, officials hope use of dispersants at sea will lessen impact

A worker cleans an oil spill caused by a leak from an undersea pipeline off Rayong province at Mae Ramphueng beach on Saturday morning. (Reuters photo)
A worker cleans an oil spill caused by a leak from an undersea pipeline off Rayong province at Mae Ramphueng beach on Saturday morning. (Reuters photo)

Some of the oil that leaked from an underwater pipeline in the Gulf of Thailand washed up on a beach in Rayong province late on Friday, a senior official said.

The Royal Thai Navy, which is working to contain the spill at sea, said it may take over a month to restore affected beach areas, following the leakage of an estimated 50,000 litres of oil on Tuesday night.

The leak from a pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) started late on Tuesday and was brought under control a day later after spilling into the Gulf of Thailand 20 kilometres from Rayong province.

A 47 sq km area of the sea was affected before the slick drifted to Rayong's shoreline on Friday, a satellite image from the government's Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency showed.

Earlier report: Oil slick 'contained' but beaches still at risk

Attapon Charoenchansa, director-general of the Pollution Control Department, confirmed to reporters late on Friday while inspecting Mae Ramphueng Beach in Rayong's Muang district that the oil spill had reached the shoreline.

Mr Attapon said the usage of oil spill dispersants over the last few days likely lessened the impact from this spill, compare to a spill from another undersea pipeline in 2013 that blackened beaches in Rayong and caused environmental damage that affected fishing and tourism and took months to restore.

He said officials from the navy, SPRC and other trained volunteers will help clean the oil from the beach.

SPRC workers earlier unfurled long inflatable oil boom barriers near the tide line to try and keep the slick from spoiling the tropical beaches. Authorities have previously warned the spill could impact the nearby Khao Lam Ya National Park, home to exotic coral reefs and sealife.

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


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (30)

Record-breaking Puripol, 16, wins SEA Games sprint double

Thai teenager Puripol Boonson destroyed the opposition to win the men's 100m in 10.44secs at the SEA Games on Wednesday and grab a sprint double in Hanoi.

21:02

Japan visitors down 95% in April from 2019

TOKYO: The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in April was down 95.2% from the same month in the prepandemic year of 2019 to 139,500 people, government data showed on Wednesday, as the country moves towards accepting small-scale tours next week at the earliest.

20:07

US repatriates remains of WWII airman

RAYONG: The United States on Wednesday held a repatriation ceremony at U-Tapao International Airport for the remains of a World War II airman whose patrol aircraft crashed in Lampang more than 70 years ago.

19:43