PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Environmental impact of Kuwait oil well fires. An oil-covered bird that has been removed from an oil lake in the Al-Burgan field, Kuwait. Several vast lakes of oil have appeared in Kuwait following the destruction of that country's oil production equipment. The largest oil lake is 1km long, 500m wide and 8m deep in places. Around 5 million barrels of oil (about 800 million litres) are escaping from the fields each day, either to form lakes or to be burnt off in massive fires. Much of the fauna of Kuwait is affected, as are domesticated animals such as sheep and cattle. The oil wells were destroyed by retreating Iraqi troops toward the end of the 1991 Gulf War.
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