Divers from the maintenance team of Star Petroleum Refining (SPRC) have managed to close three valves on the ruptured submarine oil pipeline after two days of effort, paving the way for the removal of about 12,000 litres of residual oil starting tomorrow (Thursday).

Rayong governor Charnna Iamsaeng said today that the repair work has proceeded smoothly over the past two days. Reports from the scene, near the company’s offshore mooring platform, confirm that three valves were closed at about 1pm this afternoon.

Thailand’s Marine Department today ordered all the other vessels to stay at least 500 metres from the underwater work site.

The department said that the closure of the three valves will reduce the risk of about 12,000 litres of crude oil, still in the pipeline, leaking out during the repairs.

residual oil to be removed from fractured pipe in gulf of thailand thursday 1 - Residual oil to be removed from fractured pipe in Gulf of Thailand Thursday