Thai oil spill cleanup to take 5 more days, navy says

An oil spill caused by a leak from an undersea pipeline 20 km (12.4 miles) off Thailand’s eastern coast will take at least five more days to clear, its navy said on Thursday.

The pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining Public Company started leaking late on Tuesday before being brought under control a day later.

Royal Thai Navy personnel work to clean up from a major oil slick on Ao Phrao beach on the island of Ko Samet on July 30, 2013. Thai navy personnel battled to clean up the major oil slick which coated a beach on the popular tourist island in a national park after a pipeline leak. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

The navy has led the cleanup and said an estimated 5,000 litres (1,321 gallons) of oil remained on the sea surface about 16.5 km offshore and was unlikely to reach the coast soon, as conditions were calm.

The estimated volume of oil leaked has been revised down substantially, from 160,000 litres (35,195 gallons) to 50,000 litres (13,209 gallons), industry minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit told reporters.

SPRC said it was working with authorities and experts to evaluate and monitor the impact of the leak on the environment, and determine the cause. Environment officials had earlier said there was limited damage caused.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Martin Petty

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