Kuwait - Kuwait has contained a crude oil spill in the country’s southern waters in the Gulf and is cleaning up contaminated parts of the shore, state news agency KUNA reported on Monday, citing the oil minister. The minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said electricity and water production was continuing at full capacity at the Al-Zour North and Al-Zour South plants, which had not been affected. Kuwait said on Saturday that 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.
Ras al-Zour is where Kuwait National Petroleum Co is building the Middle East’s largest oil refinery, with a processing capacity of 615,000 barrels per day and $11.5 billion worth of contracts. The clean-up of the shores affected by the spill will take one week, Marzouq said. He said since the oil spots on the shores were reported, the ministries of oil and electricity, Saudi Chevron and other government agencies had been coordinating to tackle the pollution. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait jointly operate fields in a shared area known as the Neutral Zone. Saudi Chevron operates the onshore Wafra field on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The Khafji Joint Operations, a joint venture between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, said on Sunday its facilities were safe and clear of a spill “which (media) reports said was due to an oil tanker”. The Khafji oilfield was shut in October 2014 for environmental reasons and Wafra has been shut since May 2015 due to operating difficulties.