Flames from oil wells, Kuwait

Flames from oil wells, Kuwait

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Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flames from blazing oil wells in Kuwait. The oil wells of Kuwait were destroyed by retreating Iraqi troops during the Gulf War of 1991. In the Al Burgan field seen here, over 360 oil wells were set ablaze. It is estimated that a total of 5 to 6 million barrels of oil were lost every day (1 barrel = 159 litres). A team of firefighters from several companies were employed to extinguish the fires; the task took almost a year. In addition to the massive oil spills, the smoke from the fires caused immense damage to the local environment. The smoke also contributed to short-term local climate changes, but did not significantly affect global climate systems as had been feared.

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Keywords: environment, environmental, fire, gulf war, kuwait, kuwait oil fires, oil field fires, oil fields in kuwait, oil fires, oil pollution, pollution

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