The northern Persian Gulf has been hit with a series of major oil spills, affecting Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with an estimated 35,000 barrels of crude in the first incident and an undetermined amount in the second, which followed two days later.. Already the beaches of Ras Al Zour, where Kuwait is building a massive US$30 billion (Dh110.2bn) oil complex that includes a 615,000-barrel-per-day refinery, are being tarred, and residents are being asked to stay away for the contaminated shoreline and waters.
The second spill reached 1.6 kilometers in length at press time, and measures have been taken to stop the leakage and limit environmental damage, according to the Gulf nation’s Environment Public Authority.
The Ras al-Zour area is also home to two power and water desalination plants.
Boats and crews have been putting booms into the water to try and contain the spill. Officials want to protect waterways, power plants and water facilities first, then clean surrounding beaches, according to a report on the state-run KUNA news agency.
"There will be severe consequences to those responsible for this incident, and we will prosecute them," Sheikh Abdullah al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family who is head of the Environment Public Authority.