Oil company fixing pipeline in the Gulf of Thailand after failure to mend a valve
Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) has changed the repair plan to focus on fixing two ruptures in the submarine oil pipeline with special adhesive material. This process may take eight days.
The company has abandoned its attempt to repair one of the failed valves with sealant after it failed the pressure test. Permission for the change has been granted by the subcommittee in charge of overseeing the maintenance operation.
The company has expressed concern that residual oil in the pipeline may leak into the sea if it continues with the effort to fix the valve.
More than 36,540 litres of residual crude oil have been removed from the submarine pipeline, which is three times more than originally estimated. It is still not known how much oil is still in the pipeline.
The ruptured pipeline led to two oil spills in the sea off Rayong province, the first on January 25th and the second on February 10th. Patches of oil were washed ashore on Mae Ram Phueng beach, prompting the provincial administration to close the beach and ban fishing in the sea while the clean-up operation was completed.