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File: cia_70548_60903_01.txt
Page: 01
Total Pages: 1

Subject: HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS IN OIL FIELDS  
Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence 
 
TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN 
REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN 
TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF 
THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON 
REQUEST. 
 
CITE CIA 465353 
                                                                 
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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY 
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NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE 
 
COUNTRY: KUWAIT 
 
SUBJ: HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS IN OIL FIELDS 
 
TEXT: 1. PRESENCE OF HYDROGEN SULFIDE (H2S) IS NOT A 
POTENTIAL PROBLEM IN SHALLOW RESERVOIRS IN LOW PRESSURE 
FIELDS IN WEST KUWAIT.  IN THE EVENT OF A WELL BLOWOUT, THE 
DEEP TEST WELLS LOCATED IN WEST KUWAIT AND IN THE SOUTH 
FIELDS WOULD ONLY PRESENT AN H2S PROBLEM IN LOW-LYING AREAS 
UNDER VERY CALM WIND CONDITIONS. COMMENT: THIS HAZARD WOULD 
LIKELY OCCUR ONLY IN AN AREA IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING A WELL 
BLOW OUT.  IN THE PAST, THERE HAVE BEEN OCCASIONAL RESERVOIR 
PIPELINE OIL LEAKS THAT RESULTED IN H2S SETTLING IN LOW- 
LYING AREAS IN CONCENTRATIONS THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS, BUT 
ONLY UNDER VERY CALM WIND CONDITIONS.  H2S DETECTORS HAVE 
PROVEN EFFECTIVE IN PROVIDING ADEQUATE WARNING TO PERSONNEL 
BEFORE CONCENTRATIONS REACH DANGEROUS LEVELS.) 
 
2. AT ONE LOCATION IN MAQWA, THERE IS A LOW FORMATION 
CONTAINING H2S GAS.  HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM. 
COMMENT: IN GENERAL, ANY LOW PRESSURE WELL WITH GAS IN 
KUWAIT SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A POTENTIAL H2S PROBLEM.) 
 
3. H2S IS CONTAINED IN THE OIL THAT RUNS THROUGH ABOVE- 
GROUND PIPELINES FROM THE RESERVOIRS TO THE GATHERING 
CENTERS.  AT THE GATHERING CENTER, THE GAS IS SEPARATED FROM 
THE OIL, ESPECIALLY IN MENAGEESH AREA; IN SOME CASES, THE 
H2S IS BURNED.  COMMENT: IN THE REGION OF SOME GATHERING 
CENTERS, IT IS COMMON TO SMELL THE ODOR OF H2S, THOUGH IT IS 
NOT PRESENT IN THE ATMOSPHERE IN HIGH CONCENTRATIONS.) 
 
4. SWEETENING PLANTS ARE LOCATED MAINLY IN THE MENAGEESH 
AREA BECAUSE THE FLOW LINES FROM RESERVOIRS IN MENAGEESH 
TEND TO CONTAIN MORE H2S THAN OTHER FIELDS IN KUWAIT.  THE 
DEEP TEST WELLS, THAT IS THE MARRAT WELLS, ALSO HAVE MORE 
H2S THAN ANY OTHER LOW-PRESSURE RESERVOIR WELLS. COMMENT: IF 
THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT DANGEROUS H2S CONCENTRATIONS, IT 
SHOULD BE CENTERED ON THE GATHERING CENTERS, WHERE ALL 
RESERVOIR FLOW LINES CONVERGE AND GAS IS SEPARATED OUT. 
 
 THE ONLY THREAT POSED BY H2S IN WELL FLOW LINES WOULD BE 
FROM THOSE MARRAT WELLS WHICH CONTINUE TO PRODUCE.  THAT 
THREAT SHOULD BE MINIMAL SINCE WELL CHOKES SHOULD PROHIBIT 
LARGE AMOUNTS OF SOUR OIL FROM ACCUMULATING AND CAUSING 
QUANTITIES OF H2S TO FORM IF A LINE BREAK DID OCCUR.) 
 
5. EACH GATHERING CENTER HAS A LIQUIDATION PLANT TO COMPRESS 
THE GAS. THE OIL AND GAS ARE SENT OUT OF THE GATHERING 
CENTER THROUGH LARGE UNDERGROUND PIPELINES.  THE GROUND 
ABOVE THE PIPE LINES GENERALLY SURROUNDED BY A BARRIER AND 
POSTED. (COMMENT: IN GENERAL, THE GAS TO OIL RATIO FOR 
KUWAITI CRUDE IS LOW. THE ONLY RESERVOIRS HIGHLY SATURATED 
WITH GAS ARE IN BURGAN FIELD.)

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