Globs of crude oil are washing up on Thailand’s Samet Island after leaking from a pipeline in the Gulf of Thailand Saturday, the AP reports.
Officials cautioned tourists to avoid the beaches of Prao Bay, popular among travelers for its white sandy beaches, as cleaning crews attempt to clear the oil from the sand and sea. The bay itself has been closed to the public.
About 50 tons of oil spilled from a leak in a pipeline run by PTT Global Chemical, a division of Thailand’s national oil and gas company, PTT (PTT).
PTT announced Sunday that they have contracted a team of Singaporean oil spill management experts to supervise the cleanup, which also has the assistance of the Royal Thai Navy. As of Monday, there were 300 workers on the ground clearing the oil.
Wichit Chatphaisit, the governor of Thailand’s Rayong Province, reported that so far no marine animal deaths as a result of the spill have been documented but any environmental damage, the extent of which officials are still assessing, will be the responsibility of PTT.
In 2009, a leak in a PTT wellhead in the Timor Sea caused one of the worst oil disasters in Australian history.