Nowruz Oil Field

Persian Gulf, Iran        1983-Feb-10

In 1983, the Nowruz Oil Field in the Persian Gulf, Iran, was involved in a number of oil pollution incidents. On February 10, 1983, a tanker collided with a platform. The platform developed a 45-degree tilt and had to be shut down. Wave action and corrosion apparently caused the riser to collapse into the wellhead causing a spill of approximately 1,500 barrels per day. The well was not capped because the field was in the middle of the Iran/Iraq war zone. This platform was attacked by Iraqi planes in March and the resulting slick caught fire. This well was capped by the Iranians on September 18, 1983. Eleven people were killed during the operation. In March 1983, a nearby platform was attacked with rockets by Iraqi helicopters. The platform burned and spilled oil at an initial rate of approximately 5,000 barrels per day. The rate slowed to about 1,500 barrels per day in the two years before the well was capped. In May 1985, the fire was extinguished and the well was plugged with the assistance of divers. Nine men died during these operations. Approximately 733,000 barrels of oil spilled into the sea as a result of this incident. It is estimated that the rate of oil leaking into the Persian Gulf in mid-May of 1983 was between 4,000 and 10,000 barrels per day due to more war-related activity or the collapse of burning platforms. As a result of this incident, a cooperative program for large-scale trajectory modeling was developed between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Kuwait's Environment Protection Council under the Ministry of Public Health. Keyword: Booms, skimmers, fire, collision..

Note: Documents are posted chronologically and early reports likely contain factual errors. These errors may be corrected in a later report.

Incident Response Documents

Summary 1983-Feb-10
Behavior of Oil 1983-Feb-10
USCG Case History 1983-Feb-10
References 1983-Feb-10
Countermeasures/ Mitigation 1983-Feb-10
Other Special Interest 1983-Feb-10
Shoreline Types Impacted 1983-Feb-10

Incident Details

Products of concern: Crude oil

Latitude (approximate): 29° 32.00' North
Longitude (approximate): 49° 35.00' East

Counter measures:
Dispersants: Not applicable
In-Situ Burn: Not applicable
Bioremediation: Not applicable

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