Tuesday 30 July 2013

The oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand and Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed

Here's the promised follow up on the oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand. The situation is grave and the reason I'm writing about this is because of the proximity of oil rig platforms being located within 40 km of Koh Samui. A scary thought if something would happen on one of these platforms and Samui beaches would look like Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed.

Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed

The English newspaper 'The Nation' calls it a 'Black day for Koh Samed' but the most interesting article yet to emerge I found to be this article from the Bangkok Post, where the an opposition MP lashed out towards the government, claiming 'PTT is hiding the truth' of the oil spill. He claims the mentioned amount of spilled oil. 50,000 liters, has to be more and he said the government had not taken a needed hands-on approach to the problem. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment did not take any action, asserting that PTTGC had the situation under control, he said, among others.

Tracking the oil spill

The route of the oil spill

Koh Samed was yesterday declared a marine disaster area, according to Rayong Governor Wichit Chatphaisit, who said action was being taken to prevent the leaked oil from spreading from Ao Phrao to other beaches on the island.

"The spill is definitely having an impact on the environment, but we have not detected any deaths of marine animals yet," he said.

It is expected to take about 15 days to restore the polluted beach of Ao Phrao, according to Sumet Saithong, chief of the Laem Ya Samet Islands National Park.

He said about 500 officials from the Pollution Control Department; Depart-ment of Environment Quality Promotion; petrochemical firm PTT Global Chemical, from whose pipeline the oil leaked; and those sent by the Rayong provincial governor, were cleaning up oil that had washed ashore.

Ao Phrao beach, Koh Samed oil spill

Very sad for the environment is that more than 100 rai of the stag horn and giant clam coral reef surrounding Kudee Island, 6 kilometers to the east of Samet Island, is now threatened by the oil spill if efforts to contain the leak fail. Although, considering the size of the spill, this news was to be expected.

Interesting is that now State agencies are preparing to file a lawsuit against PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC) for compensation over the environmental damage caused by the oil spill from its offshore pipeline on Saturday. 
This will be government versus government (PTT is state owned).

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!



Wim said...

Thanks for all this insight!

Anonymous said...

Hi We travel to Bohput in two weeks is this spill anywhere near there. Also will any of the food be effected by the spill.

Camille said...

Koh Samed is in a very different part of the Gulf of Thailand. If you look at a map, you will see.
Koh Samui is not affected by the oil spill.

Anonymous said...

Hi, is it true that Koh Samui is not affected at all? I don't mean to doubt but it was on the news. We plan to go there next weekend but it seems like we will have to move to another place if it is affected...

Camille said...

Samui was not affected at all by the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand.