New oil slick washes up at Mae Ramphueng Beach despite SPRC’s blotting efforts
A slick caused by the leakage of 5,000 litres of oil from an undersea pipeline off the coast of Rayong has washed up at Mae Ramphueng Beach, press reports said on Saturday.
The sand on the beach is now covered with a glossy film of slime with an oily smell despite Star Petroleum Refining (SPRC)’s efforts to disperse the oil with booms and blotting papers.
Tapong subdistrict mayor Taweep Saengkrachang echoed Deputy Transport Minister’s assumption earlier that the latest leak had been caused by SPRC’s inspection of the pipeline at the single point mooring (SPM) site.
As for the slick on the beach, he reckons it is accumulated from the initial spill of more than 40,000 litres of crude oil on January 25.
He also voiced concern that oil accumulated under the sea would wash up between March and April when the monsoon arrives.
Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department has collected samples of the oil slick for tests.
So far, related agencies, including the Thai Navy, have been working hard to clear the slick with booms and chemical dispersants.
“A large slick is visible seven kilometres off the coast of Mae Ramphueng Beach and 10km from Samet Island,” press reports said.
This is a second leak after some 160,000 litres of crude oil was leaked from an SPRC pipeline about 17 kilometres from the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port.