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File: 950925_0pgv060_00p.txt
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Kuwaiti Pipelines Below 2915N 

[   (b)(2)   ]
1300 31 OCT 90 SENT BY [   (b)(6)   ]

SUBJECT: Kuwaiti Pipelines Below 2915N 

1. PURPOSE: Response to [   (b)(2)   ]

2. The following responds to [   (b)(2)   ]:

A.            There are hundreds of kilometers of crude oil, 
natural gas, and water pipelines in the area south of 2915N 
latitude. Detailed data that is required to assess the weight 
bearing capacity of these lines are not available. The following 
information, however, may be useful. Within the specified area, 
the pipelines have diameters ranging from 3 inches (7.6 cm) to as 
large as 52 inches (132 cm). According to [   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4) 
  ]                                                   , the main 
pipelines were originally installed in trenches and covered with 
between 2 and 3 feet (.6-.9 m) of soil. The numerous gathering 
lines connecting oil wells with the gas-oil separation plants 
(GOSP) are, however, not installed in the same manner. These 
lines, with 4 to 6 inch (10.2 cm to 15.2 cm) diameters, are 
aboveground or have a thin covering of windblown soil. Specific 
data on the wall thickness of all of the above pipelines is not 
available. [   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ]              indicated 
that heavy vehicles periodically crossed underground pipelines 
without damaging the pipes. [   (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4)   ] that 
gathering lines were rated at between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds per 
square inch (PSI) of internal pressure, with a wall thickness of 
about one inch (2.54cm). Except for one possible deviation, the 
pipelines in Kuwait's portion of the neutral zone shared with 
Saudi Arabia are probably similar to those described above. The 
possible difference is with the gathering lines. Since oil wells 
in the neutral zone do not flow under natural pressure, the 
gathering lines may not have as large of a wall thickness as those 
in Kuwait proper.

B.            There are too many variables involved to predict 
with certainty what will happen to any of the above buried 
pipelines if subjected to frequent crossings by heavy vehicles. A 
collapse and subsequent rupture of a pipe, however, cannot be 
discounted. Rupture of an underground pipeline will release 
volatile gas from both crude oil and gas pipelines. This gas, 
which is invisible, would rise to the surface and mix with air. 
Any source of ignition, such as hot shrapnel or a spark, could 
cause an explosion and fire.

C.            Explosion and fire are the major dangers created by 
a release of natural gas from a ruptured pipeline in Kuwait. Also, 
toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is present in some of Kuwait's crude 
oil. This poisonous and volatile gas is present as a component of 
the mix of natural gases entrained in the oil. Since H2S is 
heavier than air, it would tend to separate from the lighter gases 
and disperse with the wind at ground level. Information on 
potentially dangerous levels of H2S in specific areas of Kuwait is 
fragmentary, but has been confirmed in the Minagish and Umm Gudair 
oil fields. The danger would be significant if personnel were 
exposed to a large volume of natural gas having a high 
concentration of H2S. Both concentration and duration of exposure 
are important factors. The following table, extracted from an 
unclassified oil industry reference manual, details the effects of 

Concentration in Air

PERCENT		PPM	GR/100SCF	                    EFFECTS

0.001		10	.65			Obvious and unpleasant odor.
0.002		20	1.30			Safe for 8 hours exposure.
0.01			100	6.48			Kills smell in 3 to 15 
minutes; may sting eyes and 
0.02			200	12.96		Kills smell shortly; stings eyes and 
0.05			500	32.96		Dizziness; breathing ceases in a few 
minutes; needs prompt 
artificial respiration.
0.07			700	45.36		Unconscious quickly; death will 
result if not rescued 
0.1			1000	64.80		Unconscious at once; followed by 
death within minutes.

PREPARED BY: [   (b)(6)   ][   (b)(2)   ]



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