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SUNDAY, February 05, 2023
Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

THURSDAY, February 03, 2022

Most of the oil slick on Rayong’s Mae Ram Phueng Beach and nearby areas has been “taken care of”, while relevant agencies are closely monitoring the situation in case more oil washes up on shore, Tara Pitutecha, Rayong’s Member of Parliament from the Democrat Party, reported on Wednesday.

Tara was answering media questions on the “Parliament TV” programme on Wednesday as he is also the vice president of the House of Representatives’ Energy Committee.

An underwater pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining (SPRC) sprung a leak last Tuesday, releasing oil into the sea about 20km southeast of Map Ta Phut Industrial Port before the leak could be plugged.

On Saturday, Mae Ram Phueng Beach was declared a disaster zone after oil from the spill washed ashore. Satellite images showed the slick had spread across 47 square kilometres of sea.

“Agencies including the Royal Thai Navy’s Marine Pollution Prevention and Mitigation Centre, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, the Marine Department and Rayong locals have been working diligently to eliminate the oil slick from the beaches in the past few days,” he said.

“The latest aerial photographs show there are no visible oil slicks on Rayong beach, but the ground teams will closely keep an eye on the situation.”


Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

Tara said Rayong authorities have set up complaint centres for people who have been affected by the incident at Ban Sabai Sabai Resort in Muang district, Taphong subdistrict Administration Office, and Cherng Nern and Ban Phe subdistrict offices. “So far about 1,400 people have filed complaints at these centres, which will be forwarded to the SPRC, which is responsible for disbursing compensation,” he said.

When asked about the cause of the massive oil spill, Tara said a preliminary investigation by officials showed that the busted pipeline has been in commission for 26 years and has no alert sensor in case of a burst or leak.

“It is estimated that up to 50,000 litres of oil have leaked from this pipe. However, the exact amount must be verified by detailed investigation,” he pointed out.

“I have urged the Marine Department, which is responsible for the specification and regulation of underwater pipelines used in marine projects, to investigate the problem as soon as possible and find out why there have been two incidents of oil pipeline bursts in Rayong. I have also asked the department to prepare preventive measures against any future incidents.”

The previous oil spill in Rayong took place in July 2013 from a PTT refinery pipeline.


Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’

“The House energy committee will discuss the Rayong oil spill at its next meeting and will invite relevant agencies such as the Energy Ministry, the Transport Ministry, the Marine Department and private operators to find out the real cause of the incident, preventive measures and rehabilitation strategies for both local communities and the coastal environment,” said Tara.

“The committee will also study international practices in oil transport and handling and make sure that Thailand has adopted appropriate precautions to prevent any future oil spill,” he said.

“This issue is the committee’s top priority, as Rayong is one of the key provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor development project. It is estimated that Rayong has attracted investments worth more than 1.04 trillion baht and is the province with the highest per capita income,” Tara added.


Most of oil slick on Rayong beach, nearby areas ‘taken care of’


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