An oil spill caused by an offshore pipe leak in the Gulf of Thailand has reached Samet Island, a popular tourist destination on the eastern coastline, tourism authorities said Monday.
"The oil has already arrived at Prao Bay on Samet," said Chuchart Oncharoen, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) director for Rayong province.
Samet Island, situated about 150 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, is a popular weekend getaway for Thais and foreigners living in the capital.
"We've had some hotel cancellations on Samet," Chuchart said. "Whether this has a long-term impact on the island depends on how quickly PTT cleans the mess up." The leak sprung Saturday in an offshore pipeline belonging to PTT Global Chemical Public Limited Company, and has released about50,000 litres of oil into the gulf, about 20 kilometres off the coastof Rayong.
The company, with the assistance of the Thai navy, had contained much of the oil spill by Saturday evening, although portions evadedthe booms.
PTT Global Chemical is a subsidiary of the PTT PLC, the national petroleum company.