Emer­gency teams bat­tle oil spill off Kuwait

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

KUWAIT CITY — Emer­gency work­ers are bat­tling to con­tain an oil spill near a joint Kuwaiti-Saudi oil­field in the Gulf, an of­fi­cial said on Sun­day.

“Emer­gency oil teams are still strug­gling to put an oil spill near Kuwait’s south­ern Ras Al-Zour area un­der con­trol,” said Kuwait Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion spokesman Talal al-Khaled in a state­ment car­ried by the of­fi­cial KUNA news agency.

There were no of­fi­cial re­ports on the source or size of the spill in the waters off Kuwait’s south­ern coast, near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi off­shore Al-Khafji oil­field.

Kuwaiti me­dia how­ever on Sun­day quoted lo­cal oil ex­perts as say­ing the spill orig­i­nated from an old 50-kilo­me­ter pipe­line from Al-Khafji.

The ex­perts es­ti­mated that as many as 35,000 bar­rels of crude oil may have leaked into the waters off Al-Zour, where Kuwait is build­ing a mas­sive $30 bil­lion oil com­plex that in­cludes a 615,000-bar­relper-day re­fin­ery.

Emer­gency teams have sealed off two power and wa­ter de­sali­na­tion plants in the area to pre­vent the con­tam­i­na­tion of drink­ing wa­ter.

Kuwait de­pends largely on de­sali­na­tion for its fresh wa­ter sup­plies.

KUNA re­ported that of­fi­cials were striv­ing to pro­tect wa­ter­ways, power plants

Emer­gency oil teams are still strug­gling to put an oil spill near Ras Al-Zour area un­der con­trol.”

Kuwait Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion spokesman

and wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties first, then clean sur­round­ing beaches.

Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain, lo­cated south of Kuwait along the Gulf coast, said the spill had not reached their waters.

Saudi Ara­bia said that it had put into ac­tion a “cri­sis man­age­ment plan” and was con­duct­ing an aerial sur­vey of its oil plants along the coast in a state­ment pub­lished by the of­fi­cial SPA news agency.

The Kuwait Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion said teams from Saudi Ara­bian Chevron and the Oil Spill Re­sponse Lim­ited had joined the teams clean­ing the coastal waters.

Kuwait is a ma­jor pro­ducer of oil and gas, which make up around 95 per­cent of its ex­port rev­enues.

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