Kuwait says most of Gulf oil spill cleaned up

Kuwait says most of Gulf oil spill cleaned up

Kuwait will finish cleaning up a crude oil spill in the country's southern waters in the Gulf this week, a Kuwaiti newspaper report said on Sunday, quoting the country's oil minister.

Boats and crews have been putting booms into the water to try and contain the spill.

The Khajfi Joint Operations (KJO) said in a statement on the Saudi Press Agency early on Sunday that its facilities were safe and were clear of a spill "which (media) reports said was due to an oil tanker".

There's no immediate estimate of the number of barrels suspected to be spilled in the water.

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Authorities said yesterday that beaches would be cleaned once power and water plants are secured and the spill is under control.

The joint operations center in the Saudi border town of Khafji said facilities there have not been affected by the spill. Sheikh Abdullah al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family who is head of the Environment Public Authority, told AP there will be "severe consequences to those responsible for this incident".

"The government failed to issue a statement communicating the severity of this disaster. This will have an impact on the fish, the food people consume, and it directly affects their health and safety".

Kuwait National Petroleum Company is building the Middle East largest oil refinery in the Ras Al-Zour area with a capacity of 615,000 per day. Oil and gas exports make up about 95% of Kuwait's revenues. Some of those fields famously were set ablaze by Iraqi forces retreating from a US -led coalition in the 1991 Gulf War that ended Saddam Hussein's occupation of the country.

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