Thai authorities on lookout for possible oil spill following fatal explosion on storage vessel

FSO Benchamas 2 in 2019 (Photo: Yod)

Authorities in Thailand are continuing to monitor the waters at one of the country’s offshore oil fields for possible signs of pollution in the wake of an explosion on a floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel earlier this month.

The Royal Thai Navy and other local agencies are monitoring the waters surrounding the Malaysian-registered FSO Benchamas 2 after the vessel suffered damage from an onboard blast on March 13, causing water ingress in the engine compartment and a subsequent loss of electrical power.

The explosion also killed one individual on board the FSO, which has been anchored in the Gulf of Thailand since 2018 under a long-term charter with Chevron.

Initial reports stated that the explosion occurred as the crew were performing routine maintenance.

An estimated 400,000 barrels of oil are contained within the FSO. The navy said it will prepare for the possible leakage of some of the onboard crude by pre-positioning spill response assets.

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