Oil Spill – Again…
Once again an oil spill in the area of Ras Gemsha is threatening the marine treasures of the Red Sea including sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs and endangered species like seabirds, mammals and turtles. The frequency of crude oil pollution in this area has been increasing lately and actions by the Egyptian authorities are not taken seriously enough.
The leak comes from an old oil field that was owned by the general company for oil. It seems that after the field was exploited, it was not sealed properly, so that crude oil residue and gases could still accumulate into the old wells causing pressure first and then making its way to the surface occasionally.
This oil pollution is a serious threat to the marine treasures which is considered as the main milestone for development process in general and for the tourism industry, in particular. For the tourism industry, which already faces shortage due to the political situation in Egypt, this means yet another loss.
On Wednesday the 21st of September gas (hydrogen sulphide & methane) started to release from the ground due to increasing underground pressure. One day later it was followed by crude oil mixed with gases.
For all these reasons, HEPCA, as a non-governmental organisation is encouraging all authorities to stick to their duties and take serious measurements to stop this kind of pollution and eliminate its source by properly sealing the well. It needs to be understood that marine life is extremely sensitive to oil and can be damaged easily. At the same time our marine resources are a milestone of national income due to the number of tourists they attract every year. It needs to be understood that especially in times like these, where tourism is going through rough times, the marine world needs to be taken care of cautiously!