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Emergency teams battle oil spill off Kuwait

Emergency teams battle oil spill off Kuwait

"Emergency oil teams are still working to put an oil spill near Kuwait's southern Ras al-Zour area under control", the statement said, citing Seikh Talal al-Khaled al-Sabah, Kuwait's oil sector spokesman.

Teams from Kuwait oil Company, Kuwait National Petroleum Company and several other firms are working with the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the EPA to deal with the spill, according to state news agency KUNA.

Kuwaiti media on Sunday quoted local oil experts as saying the spill originated from an old 50-kilometre pipeline from Al Khafji.

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There were no official reports on the source or size of the spill in the waters off Kuwait's southern coast, near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi offshore Al Khafji oilfield.

Sheikh Talal said precautionary measures have been taken around vital installations in Al-Zour area where a huge $30-billion oil complex including a 615,000-barrel-per-day refinery is being built.

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

Emergency teams have sealed off two power and water desalination plants in the area to prevent the contamination of drinking water.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, located south of Kuwait along the Gulf coast, said slicks from the spill had not reached their waters.

The KPC said teams from Saudi Arabian Chevron and Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) had joined the coastal clean-up.

Tiny Kuwait, an OPEC member nation, has the world's six-largest estimated oil reserves.