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Oman territorial waters free of 'oil slick' pollution: EA

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Muscat: Territorial waters of the Sultanate in the North al Batinah are free of any pollution following the oil slick that was reported a few days back, said the Environment Authority (EA) Agency said in a statement.


EA said that Pollution Operations Center, in coordination with the Royal Air Force of Oman, continued to monitor the oil slick that was detected near Sohar Port 48 hours ago.


Background


The oil slick reported off the Suhar coast will not impact the activities of the main port in the country, said the authorities. Environment Authority (EA) said that it was able to deal with an oil slick off Sohar Port, approximately at a distance of eight nautical miles.


The Sohar Port and Free Zone confirmed that an unknown Ocean Oil Spill source was observed just North of South al Batinah Governorate in the Sultanate territorial waters. As soon as the Ocean Oil Spill was detected, it was tracked while coming closer and washing ashore on beaches of North al Batinah Governorate as well as within Sohar Port.


“Accordingly, the emergency response plan is activated and the departments concerned began the process of cleaning the port and the ships affected by the unexpected ocean oil spill,” Sohar Port said. “For new vessels coming into the port, the risk for pollution is very limited as there are only a few areas where the oil has been observed and a mariners’ notice has been sent out to warn ships not to sail through the oil spills in the ocean. Therefore, nautical operations and vessel movements are not affected,” it added.


Abdullah bin Saeed al Busafi, an environmental affairs specialist at the pollution control center at EA, said on Thursday that he had detected simple oil spots scattered in the Sohar Port area, which were dealt with according to a response plan.


An aerial survey carried out by the Royal Air Force of Oman showed areas of the oil slick at two different locations outside the Omani territorial waters, where the first spot was detected at 27 nautical miles and the second spot at a distance of 19 nautical miles east of Liwa. The specialist at Pollution Operations Control Center said that vital facilities in the region have been informed to take precautionary measures to protect their facilities and carry out control procedures.


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