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File: cia_63819_63819_01.txt
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SUBJECT: IRAQI AL-HAMADI REFINERY AREA

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.





JAN 91    DIRECTOR 462341







SUBJECT: AL-AHMADI REFINERY AREA







3.A. LIKELIHOOD OF CHAIN REACTION EXPLOSION?

- THE GREATEST LIKELIHOOD OF A CHAIN REACTION EXPLOSION SET OFF BY

NAVAL GUNFIRE IN THE ENTIRE THREE-REFINERY COMPLEX AREA COMES FROM AN

EXPLOSION AT ONE OR MORE OF THE PROPANE/BUTANE STORAGE TANKS AT THE

LPG FACILITY SOUTH OF THE AHMADI REFINERY. SHRAPNEL FROM THE BLAST

COULD PENETRATE AND SET ABLAZE SCORES OF PRODUCT STORAGE TANKS AT ONE

OR MORE OF THE REFINERIES. TOTAL PRODUCTS IN STORAGE AT THE

REFINERIES ARE ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 23 MILLION BARRELS. THE FIRES

COULD SPREAD, CONSUMING THE TANK FARMS AND POSSIBLY PROCESSING UNITS

AT THE REFINERIES. THE AHMADI REFINERY IS MOST VULNERABLE BECAUSE

ONE AND POSSIBLY TWO CRUDE UNITS AND ONE OR POSSIBLY TWO REFORMER

UNITS ARE OPERATIONAL. IGNITION OF PRODUCT TANKS WOULD CREATE

MASSIVE PLUMES OF SMOKE WHICH COULD BILLOW UPWARD OVER 6 KILOMETERS,

SERIOUSLY OBSCURING VISION IN THE AREA.

- IGNITION OF THE PRODUCT TANKS AT THE TANK-FARMS AS A RESULT OF

NAVAL GUNFIRE COULD RESULT IN EFFECTS SIMILAR TO THAT DESCRIBED

ABOVE.

- THE LIKEIHOOD OF A CHAIN REACTION EXPLOSION AS A RESULT OF NAVAL

GUNFIRE HITTING ONE OR MORE OF THE DISTILLATION UNITS AT THE

REFINERIES IS SMALL. THE ONLY THREAT IS AT THE AHMADI REFINERY

BECAUSE SOME UNITS THERE ARE OPERATIONAL. THE VOLUME OF CRUDE AND

PRODUCTS BEING PROCESSED AT THE AHMADI REFINERY, HOWEVER, IS PROBABLY

NOT LARGE ENOUGH TO CAUSE A CHAIN REACTION EXPLOSION.

B. IMPACT OF TOXIC FUMES GENERATED BY AN EXPLOSION ON MILITARY

FORCES?

- THE CARBON MONOXIDE GENERATED FROM A PROPANE/BUTANE EXPLOSION WOULD

LAST ONLY MINUTES. FIRES IN THE PRODUCT STORAGE TANKFARMS, HOWEVER,

COULD PRODUCE LETHAL AMOUNTS OF TOXIC FUMES FOR DAYS IN AND AROUND

THE REFINERY COMPLEX AREA.

C. IMPACT ON THE REMAINING POPULATION IN THE AREA?

- WE DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY KUWAITIS OR IRAQIS ARE WORKING IN THE

REFINERY COMPLEX AREA. WE THINK THE NUMBERS OF REFINERY PERSONNEL

ARE LESS THAN A COUPLE HUNDRED. SHRAPNEL AND FLYING DEBRIS FROM A

BLAST COULD CAUSE CONSIDERABLE CASUALTIES.







1.5 (c)

63819-63819

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