CAIRO: An oil slick has been spotted along the Red Sea beach near the General Petroleum Company’s (GPC) refineries in Ras Gharib city, The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAF) announced Friday.
Oil samples have been taken to EEAF branch in Suez to identify the source of the roughly circular oil slick with a diameter estimated at 1 kilometer (.62 mile.)
Hefni added that the slick will be removed manually within a week.
A team from the environment ministry, in coordination with the GPC, started removing the crude oil slick, said Environmental Crises and Disasters Department head Kuthar Hefni, noting that contamination did not reach to the sea and was confined only to the beach.
“Oil contamination incidents have occurred several times in Ras Gharib city, particularly near the GPC refineries,” an official from the EEAF office in Red Sea told Youm7 Friday, calling the company to “adhere to the international standards of oil transport.”
In mid-February, a 6,000-meter slick from a GPC refinery was observed along Ras Gharib beach, and another slick of 1.5 and 2 square kilometers was caused by a spill from the GPC along the same beach in December 2015. In June 2015, an oil spillage of about 500 meters in circumference has been spotted in the Red Sea’s northernmost city of Ras Gharib.
A diesel spill has been spotted in the Nile River facing the Cairo-based Kasr el-Einy Hospital in January; it measured 500 meters of length and 30 meters of width. In August, some 13 drinking water stations in Upper Egypt’s governorates of Asyut and Minya were briefly closed after diesel spill caused by a dilapidated steam power plant.
In April 2015, a 500-ton Nile carrier ship with a load of phosphate sank in Qena after crashing into a pillar on the Dandara Bridge.