The Kuwait Oil Company announced on Monday a “state of emergency” following an oil leak in western Kuwait. Although production was not affected and the leak occurred in an unpopulated area, environmental advocates denounce this type of incident as a “recurring problem” in the Gulf country. Nearly 90% of Kuwait’s income comes from oil. The national oil company sent teams to the site to contain the leak and determine its origin. However, according to environmental activists, the information provided by the company does not allow for an assessment of the extent of the environmental damage.
Kuwait is a key member of OPEC and currently produces about 2.7 million barrels per day. Despite reports of several oil leaks in recent years, the National Environmental Authority has not taken firm action against the oil sector, raising concerns about compliance with safety and environmental protection regulations.
Experts have also pointed out that the leak may have come from an abandoned oil well, as the pipes and cement lining have not been well maintained, increasing the pressure and the risk of fire in the event of a spark. Environmentalists are urging Kuwaiti authorities to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of oil facilities and avoid disastrous environmental consequences.