Kuwait Oil Company Declared State of Emergency Over Land Oil Spill Caused by Pipeline Leak
The Kuwait Oil Company announced on Monday, March 20, that it had declared a state of emergency after an oil spill occurred on land due to a pipeline leak, as environmental activists criticized the incident as a "recurring problem" in the Gulf state, France 24 reported.
The state-owned company stated that the emergency was triggered by an "oil leak in the west of the country," and video footage from Kuwaiti media showed a pipeline gushing with oil, creating a large slick of oil.
According to the company spokesman, Qusai Al-Amer, the leak did not result in injuries or production shutdown, and no toxic fumes were reported.
Al-Amer confirmed that the leak occurred on land but not in a residential area, adding that teams had already been dispatched to contain the incident and determine the source of the leak. However, the spokesman declined to disclose the exact location or the spill's size.
Kuwait is a major oil-producing country where almost 90% of government revenues come from oil. The Kuwait Oil Company had oil leaks in its fields in 2020 and 2016, and the country had two oil slicks off its shores in August 2017.
One spill was 1.6 kilometers (one mile) long, while the other spill, near a joint Saudi-Kuwaiti oil field, may have released up to 35,000 barrels of crude.
Khalid Al-Hajire, the chairman of the Green Line Environmental Group, a non-governmental organization, criticized Kuwait's Environment Public Authority for "not dealing firmly with the oil sector," claiming that the country has a "recurring problem due to leniency and non-compliance with environmental and safety standards."
Kuwaiti oil expert AbdulSamee Bahbahani said the leak appeared to come from an abandoned oil well and warned that a spark could ignite a fire.