Emergency teams battle to contain oil spill off Kuwait


On Saturday Kuwait said various services were investigating the incident but did not give the magnitude of the spill near Kuwait's southern Ras al-Zour area nor its cause.

The Kuwait Oil Company, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, the ministry of electricity and water, the environment public authority and other oil companies are working together to contain the leak, Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah said in remarks carried by the official Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) on Saturday.

However, Kuwaiti media on Sunday quoted local oil experts as saying the spill originated from an old 50-kilometre (31-mile) 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-barrel-per-day refinery.

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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.

The KJO, which is a JV between Kuwait Gulf Oil Co and AGOC, a subsidiary of Saudi state firm Saudi Aramco added that it put an emergency plan into effect to deal with the spill and it will conduct an aerial survey of the area to make sure the facilities and beaches were safe.

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

Instead, they say they suspect the oil came from a tanker in the Gulf.