11 July 2024

Star Petroleum Refining Company (SPRC) has presented its plan, to the Rayong office of the Marine Department, for repairs to the ruptured undersea oil pipeline connected to the company’s offshore mooring platform in the Gulf of Thailand.

So far, no permission has been granted to commence the work as the Marine Department’s local office has asked for more details and certification of the company which will undertake the repairs. The department also needs to consult relevant agencies including the local police.

The company’s plan involves the use of scuba divers, an unmanned submersible and a drone, among other equipment.

Rayong Governor Charnna Iamsaeng explained yesterday (Thursday) that SPRC is required to submit its plan for approval and clearance is needed from the police, because the ruptured pipeline is regarded as an important piece of evidence and tampering with evidence is against the law.

Yesterday, officials from the company explained its plan to Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Roy Inkhapairoj, who was in Rayong to assess the progress of the police investigation into the oil spills.

The superintendent of Map Ta Phut police told Thai PBS that they have, so far, questioned eight company officials about the oil spills.

Meanwhile, officials from the Marine and Coastal Resources Department collected black globules, found on the beach of Laem Mae Phim, and seawater samples for lab tests. A thin line of a black globules, about 200 metres long, was found on the beach by villagers.

Small patches of a thin film of oil were also found floating in the sea near SPRC’s offshore mooring platform by marine officials. Dispersant was applied to the film.

More than a dozen boats have been deployed to the vicinity of the platform, to watch for signs of further oil leaks from the ruptured submarine pipeline.

A thin film of oil was also found near the Mae Ram Phueng beach yesterday evening, according to Sophon Thongdee, director-general of Marine and Coastal Resources Department, but he assured that seawater at several of Rayong’s beaches is still normal and no dead marine life has been found on the beaches.