Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd said it has undertaken works to remove the oil slick near Ennore Creek in coordination with State authorities.

Cyclone Michaung caused 36 hours of incessant rain, leading to severe flooding in CPCL Manali Refinery. Further discharge of 48,000 cusecs of water from reservoirs of Poondi and Puzhal aggravated the situation.

Traces of oil in the canal have been removed through reverse pumping, installation of Husk filters, and usage of Gully Suckers. It has been reported that an oil slick has been formed near the creek, and oil-contaminated flood water has inundated houses near the creek area, which is about 10 km from the CPCL refinery, the company said in a statement.

Due to unprecedented flooding, the mixing of floodwater with the contaminated rainwater system of the refinery is suspected. Further, as the level in the canal also increased around 1 mt above normal storm water level, causing reverse flow, slippage of oil traces into Buckingham Canal (outside the boundary) may have occurred. There was no pipeline leak in the refinery, as reported in the media, it stated.

CPCL is working on removing the oil slick near Ennore Creek. Booms are being deployed to prevent slippage of oil near the creek, and the same will be collected through skimmers. Around 750 mts of Booms have been arranged on an emergency basis from Chennai port, Kamaraj port, Karaikal port, and local procurement. (325 mts have been installed as of December 12). Around 60 boats have been deployed in the Ennore Creek area to identify hot spots, and oil removal using absorbent pads commenced on December 9

CPCL has engaged a professional agency (Viraj Clean Sea Enterprises) to clear the oil from Ennore Creek, and they have started working. Apart from medical assistance and distribution of medicines, house cleaning of affected areas has also been carried out since December 11, it added.