Spill Notification Point
Environment Public Authority
P.O. Box 24395
Fax: +965-4823109 or +965-4820570/9
Competent National Authority
The Environment Public Authority (EPA) as above.
The EPA is the coordinating agency for oil spill response. The EPA hosts the National Committee established to deal with oil pollution matters, including the Kuwait National Contingency Plan.
A minor spill in port or at an industry facility would be dealt with by the relevant operator who would appoint their own On-Scene Commander (OSC) and utilise their own resources. Thus a small spill at Shuwaikh or Shuaiba port would be dealt with by the respective port authority. A minor spill at a Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) facility would be dealt with by the KOC, and one at Mina al Zoor would be dealt with by Saudi Arabian Texaco (SAT).
In the event of a major spill in Kuwait's territorial waters, the Chairman of the National Committee would be notified to convene the committee and appoint an OSC from the relevant port authority, KOC or SAT, depending on the spill location. Committee representatives have the authority to allocate resources from their own organisations. A main communications centre would be established at the offices of the EPA. A command post would be set up closer to the location of the incident.
Shoreline clean-up would be the responsibility of the Kuwait Municipality.
Both KOC and SAT have contingency plans for spills from their own facilities. The natural resources in the coastal zone have been mapped by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advance of Sciences (KFAS).
The first priority is to prevent oil reaching the shoreline. Containment and recovery are therefore preferred. Dispersants are used by KOC and SAT to deal with small operational spills. Dispersant use at a major spill would be decided on an ad hoc basis by the OSC in consultation with the EPA. There is a minimum water depth limit of 15 metres for dispersant application, but in any event dispersants would not be applied near water intakes or in important fisheries areas. The EPA uses the ROPME-approved list of dispersants. Sorbents are a preferred option around water intakes if containment and recovery fails.
Due to generally poor beach access and the environmentally sensitive nature of the northern coast, a manual approach to shoreline clean-up is advocated.
There are no set plans regarding disposal of oily wastes. Clean, liquid waste could be recycled through one of the local refineries. Disposal of dirty liquid waste would be a problem as there are no slops facilities. The Kuwait Municipality would be responsible for disposal of solid waste, which would probably entail land filling in the desert. It is understood there are some designated inland pits which can be used to store and process the oily waste.
Specialised response resources in Kuwait are owned by EPA, the Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA), KOC and SAT. However, all EPA equipment is distributed to KPA, KOC and SAT stockpiles, and these companies maintain the equipment. The available resources for clean up at sea include booms and skimmers, specialised skimming vessels and vessel-mountable spray arms and dispersant. KOC and KPA tugs would be used for equipment deployment and dispersant application. The Kuwait Navy may also provide vessels for equipment deployment.
Aerial surveillance would be provided by the Kuwait Airforce, while vessel surveillance would be provided by the Coast Guard, KPA, KOC and EPA. Coast Guard vessels would be available for the transport of resources. All the authorities have personnel trained in oil spill response.
Manpower and equipment for shoreline clean up would be provided by the Kuwait Municipality. Vacuum trucks would be provided by the Municipality or private contractors.
KOC is a member of the Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO) (formerly known as GAOCMAO) and could therefore request additional resources from other member companies. Resources can also be requested by the government through the Marine Emergencies Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), based in Bahrain, a part of ROPME.
Previous Spill Experience
Kuwait has experienced a number of spills associated with tanker-loading operations at oil terminals. Severe pollution of the coast and land occurred as a result of the 1991 Gulf War.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Kuwait Convention (with countries bordering the Gulf) administered by the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) based in Kuwait.
Date of issue: June 2005