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File: 061796_DOC_124_Oil_Well_Fires_in_Kuwait_02.txt
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                         UNCLASSIFIED
                                                          23 Feb 91
                              FACT PAPER                   (oil. fp)
                            (Information)

 SUBJECT:    Oil Well Fires is Kuwait (U)

 PURPOSE.    (U) To provide input concerning the best course of
 action for addressing the oil well fires in Kuwait.

 ISSUE.    (U) There are approximately 183 oil well blowouts/fires
 currently in the KTO which could affect military operations.

 DISCUSSION.

 -(U) How do we handle?......................................Avoid.
       A 9 January 1990 Operation Desert Shield Special Report
       prepared by the USA Intelligence Agency (AST-2660Z-148-90)
       states that "Due to the intense heat, no troops or combat
       vehicles should ever approach within 200 meters of the
       fire."  For high-pressure wells, the flames will rise almost
       200 meters.  For low pressure wells, the flames will rise
       from 100 to 150 meters."

 44~ How fast can we handle?..............................We can't.
       It is estimated that it could take several weeks or a month
       to extinguish a high-pressure well fire.  There are only 4
       or 5 western firms capable of extinguishing such fires.  The
       GOK has contracted 4 firms - none have been signed.
       Companies will not produce the necessary equipment to
       extinguish the fires until the GOK provides the funds - will
       take 6 to 8 weeks to fabricate the specialized equipment.

 44~ What are the requirements~.........Beyond military capability.
       There are only 6 Army fire fighting detachments in the
       theater.

 -(U)  Should/can we use military engineers?.................No.
       Must be done by contractors with expertise in the field of
       fighting oil well fires.  Takes both specialized training
       and equipment; military has neither.

 -(U)  If done by contractor, is there enough money left
       in the Bechtel contract?..............................No.
       The cost to extinguish such fires is about $1,000,000 per
       high-pressure well.  Currently there are 183 blow
       outs/f ires. There is $76M left in the Bechtel contract.


 APPROVED BY:                   PREPARED BY:  ____________
                  Ch  f, Engr Div               CCJ4/7-E, 4390

 CLASSIFIED BY MULTIPLE SOURCES
 DECLASSIFY OADR


                              UNCLASSIFIED
Declassified by DEPSECDEF Memorandum; Declassified on 22 Mar 95; Action Officer J. F. Dolan, L(


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