GS Caltex Co., a South Korean oil refiner blasted for late response to last week's oil leak, said Tuesday it will start talks on compensation with fishermen and relevant agencies.
On Friday, a speeding Singapore-registered tanker collided into pipelines operated by GS Caltex, the country's second-largest refiner, causing an oil spill into waters off the coast of Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul.
GS Caltex said that while the company is also a victim in the case, it has decided to join efforts to contain the spill and minimize losses by local fishermen.
While the accident is blamed on the oil tanker, the refiner is also under fire for closing the pipelines' valves belatedly, enlarging the scope of the damage. The company is also accused of misleading the authorities by underplaying the size of the spill.
The Yeosu Coast Guard claims that GS Caltex closed the valves one hour after the accident. The company said the delay was from having to close the valves manually because of a power outage from the tanker collision.
"We will form a consultative group with the fishermen and related government offices to discuss ways of making up for the losses caused by the oil spill," an official at the refiner said.(Yonhap)