Petrochemical firm apologises for oil spill in Rayong

Photo by Facebook/กองทัพเรือ Royal Thai Navy

The oil firm that is responsible for an oil spill off the coast of Rayong along the eastern Gulf of Thailand e on January 25, has now apologised for the spill. Although the estimated amount of spilled oil was over 50,000 litres, the firm insists it was only 47,000.

The firm, Star Petroleum Refining Company Limited, 60% owned by the US petrochemical giant Chevron,, said it’s investigating what caused the spill, and it plans to take full responsibility for the environmental damage, including massive beach clean up along Rayong’s beaches.

Last Monday, Rayong authorities and the Royal Navy finished clearing the oil from the shore. They then closed an emergency centre that had been in charge of overseeing the clean-up. After the centre closed, a committee was set up to make sure there was no more oil.

The navy’s deputy spokesperson told the Bangkok Post no sludge was found on the shoreline, but small drops of oil that have now been dispersed might wash up on the shore. After the oil first spilled on Tuesday, January 25, Mae Ramphueng Beach was declared a disaster area on Friday, January 28. The head of the Samet Marine National Park said divers found sea grass, coral reefs, and marine life safe in Prao Bay and the marine national park.

When oil first started washing up on the beach, up to 200 volunteers patrolled with black hoes, trying to scoop it up. Others tried to pick it up with their hands and plastic bags. Rayong’s governor closed the area for swimming and commercial activities. The spill interrupted activities for local traders, fishing businesses, and hotels.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | CNN | Bangkok Post

Environment News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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