Owner of damaged oil pipeline in Rayong expects approval today to commence repairs

An urgent meeting is scheduled for today (Sunday) between officials of the Marine Department, other agencies and representatives of Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) to consider the oil company’s application for permission to plug the second rupture in their submarine oil pipeline.

The company reports that there are still about 12,000 litres of crude still in the damaged pipe.

SPRC recently sought permission to gain access to the offshore mooring platform to undertake repairs, but the Rayong office of the Marine Department postponed a decision, pending consultation with relevant agencies and more technical details from the oil company over its repair plan.

The company has already deployed numerous vessels to lay booms to contain any spillage which may occur during the maintenance work.

According to Phuripat Theerakulpisut, deputy director-general of the Marine Department, the company estimates that it will take a week repair the pipe, including three days to apply special adhesive material.

Once the crack is sealed, the company will then start pumping the residual crude oil out of the pipeline, followed by the removal of a specific section of the damaged pipe, which will be handed over to the local police as evidence.

On February 10th, about 5,000 litres of crude oil left in the pipeline leaked into the sea off Rayong province, prompting another operation to prevent it from reaching the provincial shoreline and Samet Island.

Yesterday, SPRC sent a drone to a location about 2 nautical miles to the southeast of the mooring platform for an aerial survey, after the skipper of a fishing vessel claimed to have seen traces of oil.

The company, however, said no oil spill could be detected. This was confirmed by satellite images from the Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).

Regarding claims for compensation by about 2,000 fishermen and clam farmers, the provincial fisheries office said that a meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, between their representatives and SPRC, to discuss the matter.


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