Photos: Large Oil Spill Reported Off Iran's Kharg Island

Abouzar production platform (NIOC)

Published Nov 27, 2019 5:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] The Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) has confirmed a large oil spill off Kharg Island, the home of the nation's largest offshore oil field and main oil export loading terminals. 

The spill - first reported by TankerTrackers - may come from an oil rig off the island's west coast, according to U.S.-financed Radio Farda, and it began on about November 22. The rig may be one of several in the Abouzar offshore oil field, a large reservoir first developed in the 1970s. The field produces approximately 200,000 bpd of oil, but about 40 out of its 100-plus wells are old and out of production, according to state oil outlet Shana. 

The spill has spread to at least 12-15 miles in length, according to Iranian sources. Four vessels have been assigned to the task of spraying dispersants to break up the sheen. Given the size and severity, national-level response assets are being mobilized, a PMO official told state media. 

According to Mehr News, a dive team repaired a leak in the main oil transfer pipeline from the Abouzar field to Kharg Island earlier this month, with no leaks and no effects on production.