July 2013- An oil spill rocked the Gulf of Thailand and sent tourists running for their planes. The spill was located in Prao Bay on the west coast of Samet Island’s in a community that heavily relies upon tourism and industry. Cleaning of the spill has been done predominantly by hand with Thai military being called in to help contain the environmental disaster.
"The situation is definitely better than the previous days, We are starting to see real waves and ocean foam at the north end of the bay, not the black waves of oil. It has significantly improved, but there's still work to do." - Rayong province Deputy Gov. Supeepat Chongpanish.
Estimates put the spill around 50,000 liters (13,200 gallons). Using their volume estimates this is the equivalent to about 1.5 tanker trucks of oil to put in perspective.
The Thai government run PTT Global Chemical Plc. claimed responsibility which is a subsidiary of the state-owned oil and gass company PTT Plc.
The culprit was a tanker located offshore during the transfer to a pipeline about 11 miles (17.7 km) off the shore. The leak has been reportedly fixed.
The sheen has been detected spreading to surrounding islands and is effecting the region as a whole in Sumatra.
This is the fourth major spill in Thailand’s history. The largest previous disaster for PTT was in Timor Sea off of Australia and considered one of Australia’s worst oil disasters