No Oil Spill Reported Near Hoor al-Azim Wetland
EghtesadOnline: Despite the recent floods there has been no report of oil spill in Khuzestan Province oilfields, most of which are located in or near the famous Hoor al-Azim Wetland, the production manager of National Iranian South Oil Company, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company said.
"Although several oil wells in the giant Azadegan Oilfield near the Iraqi border have been inundated, they do not pose any environmental danger to Dez, Karkheh and Karoun Rivers," Saeed Kouti told the NIOC news portal on Tuesday.
Oil fields owned jointly by Iran and Iraq including South Azadegan, North Azadegan, Yadavaran, North Yaran and South Yaran, are located near the Hawizeh Marshes, which straddles the border between the two neighbors and is known to locals as Hoor al-Azim.
All possible contingency measures have been taken not to let water enter oil facilities and wells at risk of flooding have been sealed, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
According to the official, oil pipelines that are in danger of inundation have been emptied and pigging operations are completed. “Even if they are ruptured by the floodwaters nothing will be discharged and there will be no possible damage to the terrestrial or marine ecosystem.
An oil spill on the land can penetrate underground and seep downward eventually reaching the groundwater.
"Oil supply pipelines are monitored round the clock and there is nothing to worry about," he said.
Kouti went on to say that NIOSC is committed to protecting the environment and will ensure environmental issues are given higher priority compared to oil production.
Floods described by officials as the worst since the 1940s have hit 1,900 cities and villages across Iran after exceptionally heavy rains since March 19. The western and southwestern areas have been affected the most.
The massive disaster has left aid agencies struggling to cope and the armed forces are helping the flood-stricken people.
Oil wells, namely Ahvaz-3, Ahvaz-5, Abteymour and Mansouri in Khuzestan Province, have been surrounded by water due to their proximity to the west of Karoun River and oil production is continuing with difficulty.
Total damage to oil facilities is estimated at 10 trillion rials ($100 million).