Oil spill disrupts Sri Racha coast, Thai Oil Company responds swiftly

Picture courtesy of ชนะ ผาสุกสกุล Facebook

The waters off Sri Racha coast in Chon Buri were tainted by an oil spill on Sunday night, September 3. The Thai Oil Public Company Limited’s refinery, located in the Sri Racha district, reported the leakage during an oil discharge from a tanker at the Single Buoy Mooring Buoy (SBM-2). Approximately 45,000 litres of crude oil seeped into the sea, causing concerns about environmental damage.

The Thai Oil Public Company Limited reacted swiftly to the incident, deploying its emergency oil spill plan in line with international standards, according to the company’s press release. They took immediate action, shutting down the valves linked to the SBM-2, positioning oil booms, and using dispersants to limit the oil’s spread.

On September 4, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office of Chon Buri dispatched a drone to examine the oil spill from an aerial perspective. The bird’s-eye view revealed an oil slick of about 5 kilometres in length.

The Pollution Control Department made use of the Oilmap oil slick modelling system to predict the slick’s trajectory. The system predicted that the oil slick could reach Kangkao Island and Udom Bay, south of the spill site, by September 7.

The slick from the oil spill is then expected to continue its journey, reaching Loy Island off the Sriracha district on September 8, and finally arriving at Bangsaen Beach by September 10.

The incident has fortunately not resulted in any injuries or casualties, a fact that provides some relief amid the environmental concerns. The clean-up operation is currently in progress, with the hope of minimising the potential environmental impact of the oil spill.

A month ago, an oil spill originating from an unverified source, suspected to be a ship, contaminated the shores of Sirinat National Park and Koh Racha Yai. Authorities have already managed to clear up around 3 tonnes of oil.

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Eastern Thailand NewsEnvironment News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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