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Kuwaiti Oil Fires: Regional Environmental Perspectives

Regional Environmental Perspectives

Subject Oil wells -- Fires and fire prevention -- Environmental aspects -- Persian Gulf Region.


Just before the end of the 1990-1991 Gulf War, more than 700 wells in Kuwaiti oil fields were set on fire. Several international companies and scientific organisations were involved in extinguishing the fires and in assessing the impact of this major environmental incursion. Kuwaiti Oil Fires: Regional Environmental Perspectives summarises these effects. The topics covered include the application of remote sensing techniques to determine the location of wells on fire and plume movement; air quality and particulate monitoring by ground stations and aircraft measurements; organic and inorganic constituents in the air; use of modeling techniques to study dispersion characteristics of pollutants and deposition of soot; and the efforts by the fire fighters in extinguishing fires and capping the wells. A brief overview of the causes of the crisis and the role of regional and international groups in resolving the dispute is presented as well as some basic and useful statistics of the region covering general information on economic aspects and exploitation of oil resources in both Iraq and Kuwait. Problems faced by the fire fighting teams, the preparations made to overcome the problems, and technology used in extinguishing the well fires are also discussed. Numerous colour photographs are used to illustrate the problems encountered and the techniques involved in their solution.

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