Star Petroleum faces lawsuit over latest oil spill off Rayong
Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate on Friday instructed the Marine Department to sue Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) for allegedly violating the order to suspend the use of single point mooring (SPM) since January 26.
The move follows Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressing concern over a new leak from an undersea oil pipeline three miles off Rayong province on Thursday.
Atirat said the incident was initially due to the SPRC's move to inspect the leakage point on SPM, as there was residual oil inside the pipeline.
After the incident, the Marine Department told navigators to be careful in the area and submitted a letter to the SPRC to proceed under the Tier 1 emergency plan.
He added that Marine Office 6 Rayong Branch has filed a complaint with investigation officers against the SPRC for allegedly violating the order to suspend the use of SPM, which had resulted in pollution.
"The SPRC has been urged to deal with the leakage immediately, such as using a boom to contain the spread of oil slicks and report the operation periodically," he said.
"Meanwhile, the governor of Rayong has been asked to prepare a plan in case of emergency and the Marine Department has deployed boats to survey the scene."
In addition, he has ordered the Marine Department to disperse oil slicks in a bid to mitigate the impact on the environment, and urged the SPRC to check leakage, whether there was still oil inside the pipeline, so the company could set up a plan to prevent a repeat of the incident.