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SPRC’s leaky undersea oil pipes brought ashore for inspection

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Police have retrieved undersea pipes belonging to Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) as they investigate one of Thailand’s worst environmental disasters in decades.

The pipes were lifted from the SPRC single-point mooring off Rayong province on Thursday and transported to Map Ta Phut Port by investigators from the Centre for Deforestation, Natural Resource and Environmental Crime Suppression.

The SPRC pipes first sprang a leak on January 26, spilling tens of thousands of litres of oil into the sea. The oil slick blackened several kilometres of Rayong’s Mae Ramphueng Beach and severely damaged local fisheries. More oil gushed from the pipe later when SPRC workers tried to move it.

SPRC’s leaky undersea oil pipes brought ashore for inspection

Deputy national police chief Roy Ingkhaphairot said on Thursday that work to remove the leaky pipe started at 8pm on Wednesday. Police officials and SPRC technicians removed the E1, E2 and E3 pipe sections that linked the SPM to the rest of the pipeline, using a crane to load them on three boats.

The pipes reached port at 7am were stored at a temporary warehouse ahead of transportation to the Thailand National Metal and Materials Technology Centre for inspection.

Roy said the salvage operation was slightly delayed due to stronger-than-expected undersea currents.

SPRC’s leaky undersea oil pipes brought ashore for inspection

Published : April 01, 2022

By : THE NATION