Kuwait 'contains' large crude oil spill off Gulf coast


Kuwait media estimates as many as 35,000 barrels of oil may have leaked into waters off al-Zour, where Kuwait is building a $30bn oil complex

The spill reportedly came from an old pipeline off the Gulf coast (screengrab)
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Last update: 
Monday 14 August 2017 8:02 UTC

Emergency workers have managed to clean up "the major part" of an oil spill near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi Al-Khafji oilfield in the Gulf, an official said on Sunday.

"The major portion of the main oil spill has been removed," Kuwait Petroleum Corporation spokesman Talal al-Khaled al-Sabah said in a statement.

Teams were still working to clean other parts of the spill and coastal areas, he said.

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 50km 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 $30bn oil complex that includes a 615,000-barrel-per-day refinery.

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 (OSRL) were cleaning the coastal waters.

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