An oil leak at a storage facility belonging to S-Oil Corp., South Korea's third largest
refiner, continued for a third consecutive day Sunday, but was expected to be stopped before the end of the weekend, officials at Ulsan Metropolitan City Fire Department said.
The leak began at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday after a mixer broke down in a tank storing 570,000 barrels of crude at the refiner's plant in Ulsan, a port city 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the officials said.
As of 11 a.m. on Sunday, 138,000 barrels of crude had leaked from the storage tank, but none of it had made it outside the plant, the officials said. No crude oil has leaked into the sea, they added.
S-Oil said in an e-mailed statement that the company has been transferring crude from the leaking tank to a nearby tank, with 381,000 barrels of crude moved and 51,000 barrels remaining as of 3:30 p.m.
The transfer of the crude oil was expected to be completed by as soon as 9 p.m., S-Oil said. It said that it will find out the exact cause of the spill after the transfer operation wraps up.
Nasser Al-Mahasher, the chief executive of S-Oil, apologized for the oil leak at the Ulsan plant.
He said his company will make utmost efforts to prevent the spill from spreading to other areas and the sea. (Yonhap)