Conservationist says leak was mostly on land, is not expected to affect marine life

By Hana Namrouqa –

AMMAN — Authorities on Wednesday cleaned up the remnants of an oil slick near the southern beach of Aqaba, according to a marine conservationist.

A fracture in a pipeline transferring crude oil from a tanker to Aqaba Port’s oil terminal caused the spill on Tuesday afternoon, according to Mohammad Tawaha, marine conservation programme manager at the Royal Marine Conservation Society.

“The situation now is under control and the oil slick has been cleaned up. Several marine inspection patrols were made on Wednesday to make sure that all the oil was cleared,” Tawaha told The Jordan Times.

Tawaha said that most of the leakage was on land, while small amounts trickled to the sea.

“The leak is not expected to affect marine life because most of it was on land. In addition, the direction of the wind helped push the oil slick southwards away from the coral reefs of the Aqaba Marine Park in the north,” he noted.

The conservationist, who was present during the cleanup of the oil slick, underscored that authorities’ quick response in dealing with the oil spill prevented the slick from expanding, highlighting the efforts of Prince Hamzah Oil Spill Combat Centre in clearing the floating oil.

Tawaha said the cause of the pipe damage was not identified yet, noting that it could have happened because of either over pressure on the crude oil transfer pipe or because the pipe was old.