Abstract

PTTEP's Thai Offshore Base (TOB) has been under construction since 2002.Several potential environmental impacts include fish farming, ground vibration, potential shoreline erosions and excessive noises were encountered. To this, PTTEP took new initiatives in implementing series of environmental management into the project in order to solve any profound impacts to environment claimed to have occurred and to the nearby communities.PTTEP had set up a so-called Environmental Impact Monitoring Committee chaired by Sonkhla Provincial Deputy Governor which was comprised of representatives from provincial governments and local agencies, representatives from the local residents in community and the project owner to continuously observe changes and any environmental impacts occurred.The Environmental Impact Monitoring Committee meetings were held on regular basis to solve any problems resulted from the project. Moreover, series of other environmental management initiatives were also implemented throughout the construction period such as the use of silt curtains.PTTEP installed the silt curtains around the dredging sites to prevent outflow of silts.It was the first large and systematic silt curtains ever installed in Thailand for dredging sites.Series of other environmental management works were implemented such as routine and regular environmental quality monitoring of seawater, air, noise, etc, and conducting a Post-Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for any changes in designs which occurred.

PTTEP's environmental management initiatives on TOB project has proved to be efficiently implemented without any major protests, unlike other projects during that time.Experiences gained from this project have been successfully applied to other project such as the major gas pipeline in the southern Thailand.

Introduction

PTTEP's Thai Offshore Base or TOB construction project has been in progress since year 2002 with an aim to set up a centralized base to provide offshore logistics and supports for petroleum exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Thailand.The TOB is located in Amphur Singha-Nakorn, Songkhla province, near to PTTEP's existing logistics base (Figure 1).TOB location was chosen in accordance with the town's planning direction which aims to move offshore logistics support bases away from the town center to avoid traffic congestions and unforeseen accidents.TOB is enlisted as a jetty sized larger than 500 Tonnes gross and can accommodate up to 6 large ships at any one time. The construction phase is now nearly complete and aim to start operation by the year 2005.

The Thai Offshore Base project site was considered to be located in a socially vulnerable area to which the environmental concerns were major issues.Many other project developments in the area had faced serious community issues, protests and public scrutiny.With its location and the nature of surroundings, concerns were brought into consideration of numbers of environmental impacts.Series of environmental impacts which could potentially occur as results of the TOB construction works were such as;

  • Excessive noise and ground vibrations

  • Dust

  • Turbidity and smothering impacts to fish in vicinity

  • Alteration of current patterns

  • Deterioration of shoreline

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