An small oil spill is being cleaned up in Haifa Bay, after a mishap. A ship that was taking part in an operation to remove old oil pipelines accidentally struck a pipe, causing oil to leak. The oil flowed some 1,200 meters into the sea, near Kiryat Haim Beach. It is expected to drift ashore onto Kiryat Yam Beach, and northward. Any oil stain that is incurred will be cleaned from the beach.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) is recommending that people stay away from beaches in this area today, July 5, 2016. It is also asking people not to touch any material they see that could be related to the spill, and to allow the authorities to work efficiently to clean the beach.
Petroleum & Energy Infrastructures (PEI), which owns the pipes, has taken responsibility for cleaning the spill, under the orders of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP). The contractor performing the work will take necessary measures to prevent another such leak.
The underwater pipelines, some of which remain from the British Mandate era, were once used to import oil into Israel, but have been active for years. The MoEP requested that PEI dismantle and remove the five pipes, after one of them leaked in 2014, resulting in oil stains on Kiryat Haim Beach. PEI is responsible for removing the pipes from the Mediterranean seabed, and the MoEP is monitoring the removal process.
PEI’s active pipeline transfers crude oil from Haifa Port to the company’s tank farm in Kiryat Haim.