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Kuwait Oil Company
Kuwait Oil Company
Kuwait Oil Company's Responsibilities under the KPC's Umbrella involve the exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas within the State of Kuwait. The Company is also involved in the storage of crude oil and delivery to tankers for export

p1.jpg History
One hundred fourteen (114) square kilometers of the Kuwaiti land has been severely damaged due to the destruction of oil wells during the Gulf crises of 1990. Crude oil gushed forth from the damaged oil wells, forming huge oil lakes. Consequently, wet and dry oil lakes along with tarcrete crust were formed in low-lying areas of the desert. Contaminated soil piles were generated during the recovery phase to stop the spread of crude oil.
The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) in December 2005 awarded funds to the State of Kuwait under its Decision 258; which sets forth guidelines to establish the follow-up program to monitor the technical and financial progress of the environmental remediation works regarding the contaminated features from the 1991 Gulf crises. Under the Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program (KERP), remediation of an estimated 26 million cubic meters of oil contaminated soils has been approved by UNCC. 

In June 2006, the Government of Kuwait formed the Kuwait National Focal Point (
KNFP) who is responsible for the overall follow up and fulfillment of the Political Assurances provided to the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) by the state of Kuwait concerning the Follow-up Program for Environmental Awards. KNFP is entrusted to act as a liaison between the UNCC and affected stakeholders (e.g. Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Kuwait Ministry of Defense (KMOD), Kuwait Environmental Public Authority (KEPA), Public Authority for Agriculture & Fish Resources (PAAF), Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), etc.) for KERP program. In 2010, a letter of agreement was signed between KOC and KNFP for the purpose of executing the approved projects, and in 2012 the KOC Soil Remediation Group was established.

Soil Remediation Group Responsibility
Soil Remediation Group is responsible for planning and execution of remediation and restoration projects in the KOC oil field areas under Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program (KERP) and for the Sustainable Environmental Economical Development (SEED) project.

KERP- Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program
KERP is responsible for the remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated soil caused by the Gulf crises. The program is funded by the UNCC.

Types of Contaminated Soil

Wet Oil Lakes: Areas covered with oily liquid and highly weathered oil resulting from damaged oil wells. Wet oil Lakes occur in areas where oily liquid accumulated because of local topography.

Oil contaminated piles: Oil-contaminated soil collected as mounds. The soil piles were made to stop the spread of oil flows caused by the destruction of the oil wells or clear areas with heavy oil contamination during firefighting.

Dry Oil Lakes: Areas covered with a thin and moderately hard dry black tar layer overlying hydrocarbon contaminated soil.

Tarcrete: Areas covered with a thin tar like solid layer without underlying hydrocarbon-contaminated soil (a result of the fallout of oil mist from the oil well fires).

Wellhead pits: Excavated pits constructed to store seawater used for fighting the oil well fires.

UXO Challenge


In 1991, the Iraqi military extensively laid landmines in Kuwait oilfields as well as other areas around the Country; furthermore, numerous unexploded ordnances fired during the conflict were required to be cleared. Following the invasion, a huge effort from a multinational force of military personal and civilians led by Kuwait Ministry of defense cleared large areas of the country including oil contaminated dry areas successfully. 

Within the oil-contaminated areas, the clearance was limited to dry areas only, and due to the difficulty of access, there are no clearance certificates for the wet oil lake features. Due to the non-clearance of wet oil lakes and due to the depth of excavation in oil contaminated dry areas, all areas will be subjected to further UXO survey and clearance. In addition, due to shifting sands, all areas will need to have a surface sweep.

As of December 2021, KERP has UXO cleared more than 17 million m2 of oilfield land and, in coordination with Kuwait Ministry of Defense (KMOD), disposed of more than 500 unique UXO items discovered as part of clearance activities. Some of the UXO type found in Kuwait include artillery projectiles, rocket propelled and hand grenades, mortar bombs, anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines, sub munitions and thousands of rounds of small arms ammunition.

KERP Execution Works:

Claim No. 500259 (Coastal & Marine resources)
Field execution works have been completed.
Remediation and restoration of damage to coastal and marine resources by oil-contamination was completed through excavation, transportation and landfilling of oily contaminated material from coastal oil deposits, coastal oil trenches and weathered oil layers.



Claim No.5000450 (Remediation of Areas in and Around Wellhead Pits)
Field execution works for (Element 2) have been completed.
Total of 163 (65 in NK and 98 in SEK) geographically stretched across Raudhatain, Sabriya, Burgan and Magwa oil fields are cleared from contaminated soil


- Claim No. 5000454 (Remediation of Areas Damaged by Oil Lakes, Oil-Contaminated Piles, Oil Trenches and Oil Spills)
This claim focused on the remediation of areas damaged by crude oil contamination within 114
km2 of KOC’s oilfields in the form of:

• Wet and Dry lakes
• Oil-contaminated piles

-More than 2,200,000
(m3) contaminated soil within oil fields have been UXO cleared, excavated and transported to the two engineered landfills in North & South Kuwait.
-All Wet Oil Lakes in North Kuwait have been cleared.


KERP Strategy:

In coordination with KNFP in an effort to be more environmentally conscious KOC were successful in obtaining approval of a new strategy called the Total Remediation Solution (TRS).

 TPH (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon %).



KERP Projects in line with TRS strategy:

  • Construction of Landfill Facilities for Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils in South East/ North Kuwait: Two-engineered landfills were constructed and capped with a total capacity of 2.28 Million (m3) in North and South East Kuwait.

·        Excavation and Transportation of heavily contaminated soil to the engineered landfill: The landfills contain heavy oil contaminated soil that was excavated and transported from various features inside KOC field; such as wet oil lake, wellhead pits, coastal trench, coastal deposit, dry oil lake and piles. The contaminated soils were excavated and transported to landfills through NK E&T and SEK N&T projects.  

·        UXO Program Phase-1 for North and South Kuwait Oilfields: Approximately 7 million m2 of oilfield area was cleared and approximately 60 unique UXO were disposed.

·        North Kuwait and South Kuwait Excavation, Transportation and Remediation Projects:

In September 2021, 5 Excavation, Transportation and Remediation Projects (ETR) were awarded, three in Greater Burgan and two with Sabriya and Raudhatain oilfields. These projects are titled SKETR Zones 1, 3 and 3 and NKETR Zones 1 and 2. The scope of these projects includes the UXO clearance of remaining contaminated soils and the remediation of approximately 13 million cubic meters of contaminated soils.  Remediation technologies will be fully utilized as possible to minimize the amount of soil sent to engineered landfills.


Three (03) additional ETR projects tenders within Greater Burgan (SKETR-II) and Wadi Al-Batin will clear and remediate any soils not completed under SKETR Zones 1, 2 and 3 projects, a scope of approximately 8.35 million cubic meters of contaminated soil. The ETR projects are all planned with sustainability goals, including increased use of renewable energy, decreased carbon footprint and increased use of treated water.


Revegetation and Ecological Habitat Restoration Projects:

The Revegetation Projects are aimed at transplanting native species of shrubs, grasses and trees in the oilfields in South and North Kuwait to restore the sites back to pre-disturbed status. The selected species are ecologically most important and dominant part of the natural ecosystems of Kuwait.  The list of plants chosen for the revegetation projects are as follows:



Arabic Name

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More than 8.6 million plants will be planted over a period of three years where the planting window is limited between September and March each year. A long-term ecological monitoring of physical and biological parameters of the revegetation areas will be conducted by Kuwait Institute Scientific Research (KISR)to determine the ecological functioning is being restored.

Besides increasing the vegetation cover, the revegetation projects will support and enhance the fauna. Perennial shrubs such as Haloxylon salicronicum are effective in trapping aeolian sand along with organic matter to form nebkha (dunes) around their bases. These nebkha provide micro habitat that supports wildlife activities and natural germination of native species.