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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Kuwait says most of Gulf oil spill cleaned up

Emergency teams have been battling the large oil spill since it appeared off the country's southern coast on Thursday

The oil spill near Kuwait's southern Ras Al Zour area is seen here on August 12, 2017. Kuwait Environment Public Authority via AP
The oil spill near Kuwait's southern Ras Al Zour area is seen here on August 12, 2017. Kuwait Environment Public Authority via AP

Emergency workers have managed to clean up "the major part" of an oil spill near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi Al Khafji oilfield in the Gulf, an official said on Sunday.

"The major portion of the main oil spill has been removed," Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) spokesman Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah said.

Teams were still working to clean other parts of the spill and coastal areas, he added.

Emergency teams have been battling the large oil spill since it appeared off the country's southern coast on Thursday.

Sheikh Talal said precautionary measures had been taken around vital installations in Al Zour where a huge US$30 billion (Dh110.2bn) oil complex — including a 615,000-barrel-per-day refinery — is being built.

It came a day after the KPC spokesman said emergency teams were "still struggling" to stop the oil spill.

There were no official reports on the source or size of the spill. But Kuwaiti media quoted local oil experts on Sunday as saying it originated from an old 50-kilometre pipeline from Al Khafji oilfield.

The experts estimated that as many as 35,000 barrels of crude oil may have leaked into the waters off Al Zour.

On Saturday, however, Khafji Joint Operations, which manages the Kuwaiti-Saudi oilfield, said no oil leak had been detected in its area of operations.