SK Energy suffers oil pipeline leak off Ulsan

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SK Energy suffers oil pipeline leak off Ulsan

Korea’s largest refiner, SK Energy, said yesterday a small amount of oil was spilled into the country’s East Sea due to a crack in an oil pipeline, but there was no impact on production.

The oil leak happened early Sunday off Ulsan, about 380 kilometers (236 miles) southeast of Seoul, after a small crack in an oil pipeline was found in the company’s No 2. buoy while transferring crude oil from its Panama-registered, 160,000-ton crude tanker C.Eternity, SK Energy and Ulsan Coast Guard said. The exact volume of the leak and the damage done are not yet known, according to the top refiner and the coast guard.

“We are trying to minimize the damage from the oil leak and checking details of its cause,” a spokesman for SK Energy said.

SK Energy, fully owned by SK Innovation, operates two refineries with a total capacity of 1.115 million barrels per day in Ulsan and Incheon.

The leak was reported by workers after they smelled oil during the transfer and halted the work immediately, which prevented additional leaking, the Ulsan Coast Guard said.

In 2007, Korea’s worst oil spill occurred off the coast of Taean, when 10,500 metric tons spilled from a Hong Kong-registered tanker that had its hull punctured in a collision.

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