Don't Cry Over Spilt Oil? Egypt Gov Says Red Sea Spill is from Old Oil

oil rig spill egypt red sea photoThe plot thickens: The Egypt Government says Red Sea oil spill is not a rig spill. The warmer weather has just released old oil, now surfacing. Or it’s come from passing tanker. Image via wikipedia

BP’s oil spill is a disaster with no end in sight. It only illuminates the alleged Red Sea oil spill, rife with controversy. As BP oil pumps into the Gulf, Egypt’s got its own spill to contend with, replete with accusations of cover-ups. Environmentalists and news reports said that the oil spill has been caused by a rig in the Red Sea, but the government says otherwise. Egypt authorities say the oil is just from old spills now surfacing.

On June 24, the Egyptian Oil Ministry issued a report determining that the oil spill was not caused by any of its rigs. It said that “crude oil that washed ashore at a major Red Sea beach resort area was leaked by a passing tanker or may have seeped from the ground due to a heat wave.”

The report published on an Egyptian Government website said that all offshore oil platforms in the Red Sea are “sound.”

Oil from the rigs was compared with samples from the sea but the investigators “cannot say for sure” whether the samples matched. According to the official account, a rise in temperature during that period led to a shift that turned ancient deposits of oil on some island to a semi-liquid state, which then flowed into the sea.”

This source comes in Arabic from the website of Egypt’s Oil Ministry. And is backed by a recent report in Reuters Africa, which suggests that the spill might have been caused by a tanker emptying its bilge. Tourism accounts for about 11% of the country’s economy, so efforts to contain the spill covering a 12 mile stretch of coastline are being ramped up.

All 188 oil platforms in the Gulf of Suez area were “totally innocent of any oil spill” that had reached the coast at Hurghada, the newspaper al-Akhbar quoted Fahmy as saying.

To quell the fears of worried Jordanian activists, on the same day, according to the Jordan Times, the Jordanian Royal Marine Conservation Society Executive Director, Fadi Sharaiha, calmed down the fears of the Jordanians that the oil spill might reach the Gulf of Aqaba and said that the marine life in the Gulf of Aqaba will not be affected by the oil spill, since its impact on the Red Sea ecosystems will be limited as it was contained by the Egyptian authorities.

This spill still leaves lots of questions to be answered.

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