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Thai authorities sue oil company over spill

01 August 2013

Thai authorities have sued a chemical company for the oil spill it caused in the Thai Gulf, which led to an estimated loss of more than 100 million US dollars. Thailand's Marine Department has filed the suit against PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), a subsidiary of PTT Plc, Thailand's state- owned oil and gas conglomerate, for the oil spill from a pipeline in Rayong.

The spill took place on July 27 about 35 kilometres from the popular holiday island of Samet. Crude oil from an offshore Omani tanker was being transferred to a pipeline, operated by PTTGC, and a leak caused some 50 tonnes to be released into the sea.

More than 500 staff from PTTGC and the Thai Navy have been working continuously for more than 48 hours to clean the oil slick from beaches on Samet Island.

On July 31 the Marine Department said the cleanup operation should take a week, and that chemicals would not be used. PTTGC must submit a rehabilitation plan by the end of August and all parties concerned would be invited to discuss measures to fully restore the environment.

The Rayong Tourism Association said the local tourism industry had lost about one- fifth of its annual revenue or about 102 million dollars so far, while a group of fishermen said they were losing 172,000 dollars in daily revenue, according to Xinhua.

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