Eastern Seaboard beaches are under threat from an oil spill stemming from a pipe leak in an offshore platform near Rayong. Using ships and helicopters, the Thai Navy and several agencies are working around the clock to contain the spread of the crude oil. The leak itself has been blocked, but not before more than 70 tons of oil had spilled into the Gulf of Thailand over an area of about 1.5 nautical miles. The primary objective of workers now is preventing the oil slick from reaching beaches, thereby threatening tourism and wild life. The offshore platform is operated by PTT Global Chemical, a subsidiary of national petroleum company PTT. Prasert Bunsumpun, company chairman, acknowledged that a crude transport pipe had begun leaking at a single-point mooring in Rayong Province. Barriers have been placed around the spill and an oil skimmer is collecting surface oil as quickly as possible, before the oil slick created an environmental catastrophe.
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