S.Korea Completing Sea Cleanup 164,000 Liters Oil Leak-Coast Guard


SEOUL/SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Teams of workers, aided by ships and aircraft, will complete on Monday the sea cleanup of 164,000 litres of oil that leaked off South Korea's southern coast, the coast guard said, after a pipeline run by GS Caltex Corp cracked at the weekend.

A cleanup of shore areas will take up to two weeks.

The crack and subsequent leak occurred on Friday at a quay off Yeosu, more than 300 km (185 miles) south of Seoul, while the 318,445 deadweight tonne Very Large Crude Carrier Wu Yi San was preparing to berth and offload crude.

Oil remaining in the pipeline leaked, but none spilled from the tanker, which did not hit refinery production at GS Caltex, according to the refiner and the Korea Coast guard.

"A clean up would be completed within today, while a clean up of the seashore would take one or two weeks," a senior official at the Yeosu Coast Guard of Korea told a press briefing broadcast live on television.

The prime minister's office, in a statement issued on Sunday, said an oil boom to control the spillage would be expanded to a diameter of 9.5 km from 5 km, and 201 vessels and five planes would work on the clean up.

The coast guard official said the tanker was suspected of approaching the quay at a higher than recommended speed, but the exact cause of the accident was under investigation.


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