Dust storm hits Kuwait’s oil exports

PTI Kuwait City | Updated on April 13, 2011

OPEC member Kuwait today halted oil exports as a “precautionary measure” after a blinding dust storm hit the desert Gulf state, a spokesman said.

Oil exports at terminals, receiving vessels in addition to certain maintenance works at oil refineries have been “halted as a precautionary measure”, Sheikh Talal Al-Sabah said in a statement.

He, however, assured that this will not affect Kuwait’s commitments to its clients as the exports will be immediately resumed after the dust clears.

The Education Ministry also suspended study at all schools and universities due to the dust storm caused by winds blowing at high speed reducing visibility to less than 200 metres (yards).

Kuwait, OPEC’s fifth-largest producer, pumps around 2.3 million barrels of crude oil daily through KNPC export facilities in the oil-rich south.

Last week, a similar dust storm caused a halt in oil exports and air traffic.

Kuwait has had little rainfall for the fourth winter in a row, making the desert sand loose and easily carried aloft by strong winds.

Dust storms are rare in winter but common in summer when temperatures hits 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

Published on April 13, 2011

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