After the 1990-1991 Gulf war, oil wells and associated infrastructure in Kuwait were damaged, resulting in the release of large volume of crude oil into the environment and affected approximately 114 square kilometres of the desert terrain. The environmental damage was a result of either airborne deposition of crude oil, overland flow of crude oil and formations medium to large wet oil lakes with variable thickness. Consequently, contaminated soil altered desert soil properties and ecological landscape, which caused the deaths of plants and/or animals; and penetrated deeper into the subsurface soil layers and threatening pollution of precious fresh groundwater resources. The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), Kuwait National Focal Point (KNFP) and Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) cooperated in a joint project to undertake comprehensive and collaborative efforts to remediate contaminated land (i.e.26 Million m3 of contaminated soil).
A key component of the evaluation of oil contaminated sites to know the contamination level of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) level and address the remediation approach. Site Characterization focused on Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) parameter and is primarily used for evaluation of oil contaminated sites. As such soil investigations were conducted three times in the last decade and the latest detailed site characterization conducted in year 2016 would compare the data of earlier studies. This paper highlights the potential natural degradations over the years, distribution and constituents variations and explore reasons for variations.

Primary Author/Presenter:
Aisha Al-Barood
Sr. Environmental Engineer
Kuwait Oil Company

Mr. Dhari Al-Gharabally – Kuwait Oil Company
Mr. Srinivasan Vedhapuri – Kuwait Oil Company