Kuwaiti firefighters first to reach Iraq’s detonated oil wells
Kuwaiti firefighters put out a first oil well fire of seven at Iraq’s booby-trapped Rumeila South, the country’s largest oilfield. The remaining well fires, blazing at several sites along Kuwait's border with Iraq, are expected to be tackled within two weeks time, according to the Kuwaiti forces.
In much the similar way, Iraqi troops sabotaged more than 700 Kuwaiti oil installations as they retreated from the emirate after the 1991 Gulf War. The damage took more than two years and $50 billion to repair, a task that befell Kellogg Brown & Root company, a unit of the Houston-based oilfield services giant, Halliburton Co.
The same company, once headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney, was also contracted to manage the current oil-well firefighting and rehabilitation effort in Iraq. The Bush administration has made a priority in the current war of securing Iraq's 1,685 oil wells, constituting the world's second-largest proven crude reserves.
Kuwaiti firefighters stated that two other wells in Rumeila South that were damaged but not burning were inspected and found rigged up with black wire. The sabotage was reportedly not powerful enough to ignite the wellheads and set them ablaze.
The fact that only seven of Rumeila South’s 500 wellheads were detonated, gives rise to a conjecture by some analysts that Iraqi troops might have defied Saddam’s scorched-earth tactic. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)