Connect with us


Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Oil spill mop up continues; Bangkok under ISA ahead of rallies; North braces for more floods

Legacy Phuket Gazette



– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Oil spill probe to be finished in 7 days
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Energy Ministry promises to complete its investigation into the cause of the disastrous offshore oil spill within seven days and to ensure full compensation by PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC).

“The situation is under control now as no oil stain is found on the waters off Koh Samet,” Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisa said yesterday.

The fact-finding committee, to be led by Thongtip Ratanarat, former executive director of the Petroleum Institute of Thailand, would start its work today to find out why the crude oil leaked from PTTGC’s platform in the Gulf of Thailand and whether the operator had complied with protocol. Initially, PTTGC insisted that it had followed protocol to mitigate the situation. A 1,500-metre-long boom was laid on the surface, but probably because of high waves, the oil slick slipped outside the containment area.

Pongsak said the leaked volume was within their handling capacity and the operators had conducted regular drills.

He held a meeting with high-ranking officials from the Energy Ministry and PTT Group.

Anon Sirisangtaksin, CEO of PTTGC, promised Ao Phrao would be cleaned up within seven days.

The company and independent experts would cooperate in designing the rehabilitation plan and assessing the marine environmental damage, he said.

The use of the dispersant called Slickgone NS would not threaten marine life, he said.

About 35,000 litres of the chemical have been sprayed on the oil slick in the past days, prompting concern among environmentalists.

Nattachart Charuchinda, senior executive for the downstream petroleum business at PTT, said that authorities should call for annual drill instead of one every three years. Some drilling conditions must also be improved for higher efficiency. The oil platform involved in the accident would remain closed until the investigation is completed.

The Marine Department is in charge of the drills. The latest was held in May with the Navy, Natural Fuels Department, oil refineries, oil exploration companies and an oil-spill-related unit from Singapore.

An Energy Ministry source said the ministry plans to bring the drill under its supervision for flexibility.

Pongsak told reporters that all businesses and individuals affected by the oil slick should refrain from suing PTTGC, as the company had promised to take full responsibility for the damage. While those directly impacted would be immediately granted compensation, a committee would be set up to appraise compensation for those indirectly affected.

However, the Prevention and Elimination of Marine Pollution Caused by Oil Spill committee under the PM’s Office resolved yesterday to have the Marine Department file a compensation lawsuit against the company.

“We haven’t yet concluded the amount. It’s too soon as this affects natural resources and properties and incurs expenses for agencies,” Wichien Jungrungruang, director-general of the Pollution Department, said after the meeting.

The department has ordered PTTGC to submit a rehabilitation plan for the damaged natural resources and related losses by the oil spill by the end of this month.

PTTGC must seek the opinions of stakeholders and locals on suitable methods to restore natural resources as well as Phrao beach to their original condition.

If the PTTGC does not follow the department’s order, it will be faced with legal action, said Sorasak Saensombat director-general of the Marine Department, during his trip to observe the progress in the clean-up at Phrao beach.

The Thai Hotels Association is calling for immediate measures from the government to cope with the oil spill through four senate committees, for fear that the problem could not be dealt with in time before the next high tourist season.

Chairman Surapong Techaruvichit said the four objectives were an investigation and problem-solving process, compensation for profits lost, recovery and restoration plans for the loss of Thailand’s image as a tourist destination, and long-term preventive and preparatory steps to be led by authorities.

The association’s meeting concluded that it would bring its concerns and proposed measures to the senate committees on energy, tourism, natural resource conservation and good governance.

Buntarik Kusolwit, the head of the association’s eastern region committee, said room reservations on Samet have all been cancelled. The recovery in tourism would likely take more than one year, and hotels should be compensated throughout the period.

Experts scoff at PTTGC’s response
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: When the oil first leaked from the PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) offshore platform near Rayong on Saturday, relevant officials decided to deploy a 200-metre boom to contain the spill, which later proved to be far too short.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a PTTGC staff member said this 200-metre boom was the only size available in large ships.

“But we also inflated spare booms to deal with the spill,” the source, who is part of the PTTGC emergency-response team, added.

Later, in response to a model assessment produced by the Pollution Control Department, the team put out a 1,200-metre boom about 1,000 metres from Koh Samet’s Ao Phrao beach.

The PTTGC staff member added that after the booms were deployed, oil skimmers were also put into action. In addition, boats and aircraft have been spraying dispersant chemicals on Sunday.

“We have been proceeding in line with international practice on responding to oil spills,” he said, adding that nobody thought the oil would wash up at the Ao Phrao beach on Sunday night.

“In fact, we believed we could stop the oil about 4 kilometres from Ao Phrao,” he said, adding that the oil was possibly pushed toward the beach by high tides and strong winds.

He added that since Thailand did not have chemical-spraying aircraft, PTTGC had to wait for help from Singapore-based Oil Spill Response Ltd. “The aircraft started spraying the chemicals at about 3pm on Sunday,” he said. “By then, the oil slick had already spread over quite a wide area.”

Dispersants ‘safe’

He went on to say that he was confident the dispersants would not affect the coral or marine life because the droplets would go just a metre or two under the surface of the seawater.

“At that depth, the chemical won’t reach the abode of aquatic animals. Then within three to four weeks, sunlight and bacteria will naturally dispose of all those droplets,” he said.

However, academics remain unconvinced.

Phaitoon Mokkongpai, a researcher at Burapha University, explained that the coral around Koh Samet did not lie that deep below the water surface. “Most of them will be affected,” he said.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries said several studies show that when chemicals are used in waters less than 20 metres deep, they pose some risks.

According to Phaitoon, the PTTGC boom was also shorter than is required, which explained why the spill spread. “If you ask me, PTTGC’s response was not the best,” Phaitoon said.

3 Bangkok districts under ISA
— Phuket Gazette Editors

  UWC Thailand to host Moonlit Melodies Refugee Fundraising Concert


Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358


    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

    Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.


    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Phuket8 hours ago

    Phuket Food Festival 2022 will feature hemp recipies

    Chon Buri9 hours ago

    UPDATE: Suspect in assault case with Russian woman in Chon Buri released

    Bangkok10 hours ago

    5 countries’ representatives walk out when Russian official speaks in Bangkok

    Sponsored2 days ago

    What’s behind CP’s successful Metaverse campaign?

    Phuket10 hours ago

    Thailand’s biggest light festival kicks off on Phuket shores

    Chon Buri12 hours ago

    Chon Buri teen tries to steal air conditioning equipment while high

    Tourism14 hours ago

    As Thailand’s bars plan to reopen ‘officially’ in some areas, vendors want to extend hours

    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Pattaya15 hours ago

    UPDATE: GoFundMe page for victim of Pattaya gym assault – VIDEO

    Pattaya16 hours ago

    Alcohol ban in Pattaya and Bangkok from 6pm Saturday

    Thailand16 hours ago

    Thailand Pass remains, at least until the end of June

    Thailand1 day ago

    Thailand News Today | Thailand to target “wealthy foreign tourists”

    Travel1 day ago

    5 beautiful glamping spots in Phuket to get closer to nature

    North East1 day ago

    Man in northeast Thailand stabs wife on train

    Thailand1 day ago

    Deputy PM demands officals to avoid being rude and offensive to residents

    Malaysia1 day ago

    Malaysians continue to flood into Thailand

    Phuket1 day ago

    UPDATE: Chief in Phuket says black water is “not from businesses”

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11