NewsOil slick pollutes sandy beach in Gulf of Thailand

Oil slick pollutes sandy beach in Gulf of Thailand

Tens of thousands of liters of crude oil flow from an underwater pipeline in the Gulf of Thailand – and pollute a sandy beach. In the oil spill in Peru two weeks ago, almost twice as much oil escaped as previously known.

BANGKOK – An oil slick has hit the coast of Thailand’s popular Rayong province. The famous tropical sandy Mae Ram Phueng Beach around 200 kilometers southeast of Bangkok was then closed to visitors on Saturday, local media reported.

It will take over a month to clean up the polluted stretch of coast, the Thai Navy reportedly said.

According to official estimates, around 50,000 liters of crude oil spilled into the sea from a leak in an underwater pipeline belonging to the Star Petroleum Refining Company in the Gulf of Thailand on Tuesday. A day later, the flow of oil was stopped. The oil slick had covered an area of 47 square kilometers before reaching the Rayong coast, local media reported.

The Navy and other aid workers are now feverishly trying to clean up the beaches and contain the damage, the Bangkok Post quoted Pollution Control Department director-general Atthapol Charoenchansa as saying. The use of chemical dispersant in the past few days may have reduced the damage.

The consequences are probably less than in the environmental disaster of 2013. At that time, a leak in another pipeline caused an oil spill and polluted beaches in Rayong. It took months to remedy the consequences for fishing and tourism.

There was also an oil spill in Peru

In the meantime, it has become known that the accident two weeks ago off the coast of Peru spilled significantly more oil than previously thought. The Peruvian Ministry of the Environment announced that not about 6,000 barrels (each 159 liters) of oil had spilled, as initially estimated, but 11,900 barrels.

Haarspendeaktion in Peru


Action to donate hair against the oil spill in Peru. Filters are made from the hair to soak up the oil.

The Spanish oil company Repsol, which operates the affected La Pampilla refinery in Ventanilla, spoke in a statement on Friday of 10,396 barrels and stated that it had also transmitted this information to the responsible authorities as part of “continuous cooperation”. The elimination of the oil spill has the highest priority, and the company is using all the necessary human and technical resources to do so.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Óscar Maúrtua made serious allegations. “The information on the actual number of oil spills in Ventanilla confirms the ecocide and reveals Repsol’s lack of transparency,” the foreign ministry of the South American country Maúrtua quoted in a tweet on Saturday evening (local time). “The government will announce a drastic sanction.”

Ölpest in Peru


Men in white suits work to clean up the oil spill in Ventanilla, Peru.

The accident happened while a tanker was being unloaded. High waves after the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano near Tonga caused the accident, it said. Since then, oil has contaminated more than 20 beaches north of the capital Lima. The prosecutor responsible accused those responsible at the refinery of reacting too late to the oil spill. A judge barred four Repsol executives from leaving Peru for 18 months on Friday. dpa

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