Kuwait declares a state of emergency over the oil spill in the west of the country

Kuwait oil spill

The state oil company Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) declared a state of emergency on Monday (03.20.2023) due to an oil spill in the west of the country, although it assured that the incident caused no casualties or generated the emission of toxic gases. “Production operations have not been affected,” said KOC Executive Vice President of Administrative Affairs Qusay al Amer.

Although he did not specify the size or cause of the spill, Al Amer sent a reassuring message by stating on the Kuwaiti company’s official Twitter account that “there have been no casualties” and “no toxic gases have been detected at the scene of the incident.”. “KOC’s competent teams are on the scene and are handling the incident according to the procedures followed by the company,” he added.

A video published in the Kuwaiti press shows a pipeline surrounded by a large oil slick. Al Amer later told the AFP news agency that the spill occurred on land, not at sea, and away from residential areas, though he declined to provide further details. He assured, however, that the workers were working hard to contain the leak.

Previous episodes

KOC, one of the world’s leading oil producers, is a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Institution and is the only company authorized to manage oil and gas exploration and production operations in the Gulf country. The budget of this small country depends on 90 percent of crude oil sales abroad.

The last incident that occurred in Kuwait occurred two years ago due to a fire in the Burgan oil field, in the southeast of the country, which injured two people. In 2017 the authorities had also reported two oil slicks on the coast. Currently, Kuwait (a member country of OPEC) produces 2.7 million barrels per day.