Permission Granted To Repair Ruptured Submarine Oil Pipeline

Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) has finally obtained permission from the Thailand Marine Department to start repair work on the ruptured submarine oil pipeline at the offshore mooring platform off Rayong province.

The decision was made during an urgent virtual meeting attended by representatives from the oil company, the Council of Engineers of Thailand, the Maritime Department, the Engineering Institute of Thailand, the Department of Pollution Control, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Map Ta Phut police, after several days of delay.

Authorities revealed that the approved maintenance plan would consist of applying compounds to stop leaks and pumping residual oil out of the pipeline. Repairs also include wrapping around the two pipeline breakpoints with special adhesive material.

Marine Department’s deputy director-general Phuripat Theerakulpisut said that foreign experts and the pipeline manufacturer’s representatives should coordinate closely with the Marine Department and the Royal Thai Navy to oversee all repair work and ensure safety and reduce potential risks o avoid damage caused by any oil spillage during the process.

Mr. Phuripat said that the SPRC had prepared three response groups, including one responsible for laying five 200-meter-long booms each near the mooring platform. According to the Marine Department’s director-general, ten vessels will be deployed to tow the booms and contain any new oil leaks.

The second group must apply the dispersant, while the third comprises the Si Racha Offshore 881 vessel, which is specially designed to collect spilled hydrocarbons at speeds of up to 100,000 liters per hour.

The government also said another vessel was equipped to catch underwater oil spills and pump the substance on board. In addition, the Royal Thai Navy announced that it had posted a vessel with 24 drivers available to observe repair and support operations.

Mr. Phuripat also said that he had instructed the SPRC to unveil its complete repair plan to the Rayong office of the Maritime Department before 10:00 a.m. Monday, expecting to get a formal permit to start the repair works.