Appointments based on ‘wasta’ blamed

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‘Need to activate safety steps in oil sector to avert fire accidents’

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 4: Two experts from the oil sector stressed the importance of activating all security and safety measures in the oil sector in order to reduce the number of fire accidents that occur from time to time. In separate statements, they warned against a repetition of the burning of the Ahmadi Refinery in 2000 when explosions led to an oil disaster that affected people and property. They held appointments based on “wasta” as responsible for the recurrence of oil accidents, as well as the mechanical errors resulting from not updating pipes and other pumps.

They also blamed the use of oil trade unions for political purposes, especially since most of the refineries in Kuwait are modern have not yet collapsed, and are subject to periodic maintenance annually. One of the oil experts Abdul Hameed Al-Awadhi explained that the fires that occur in oil refineries and in the oil sector in general are caused by the presence of flammable materials.

Therefore, oil companies always stress the need to take into account all necessary requirements for security and safety in order to preserve human lives and properties. Oil fires are common in hot countries, especially in the summer, but measures must be taken to avoid a repeat of the Ahmadi refinery fire incident that occurred in 2000. The massive oil explosions in this sector at that time led to the loss of lives and properties. The costs incurred for repairs had reached about $ 480 million. Al-Awadhi went on to explain that oil accidents and fires occur due to two reasons. The first is mechanical errors and issues such as when there are malfunctions in the pump or pipes.

The second reason is negligence in maintenance, or the use of non-original spare parts by the company concerned with maintenance, or failure to replace spare parts that have expired, constant inaccuracy in monitoring, and failure to follow proper instructions, which can lead to oil disasters. Not choosing competencies accurately for operating the pumps could also lead to disasters, as increasing the power of the pump without the specified levels could lead to fires or the leakage of toxic gasses.

Also, appointments through “wasta” cause oil disasters, especially since those who manage the security and safety sectors must have at least 20 years of experience in this field. Avoiding mechanical and human errors ensures the reduction of fires in the oil sector.

Meanwhile, the other oil expert Hajjaj Boukhadour said the series of fire incidents in the oil sector will continue in light of the continuation of random appointments carried out under political pressure, as well as the use of oil unions for political purposes. He revealed that other reasons that lead to the continuation of fire incidents in this sector include human errors resulting from negligence as a result of not taking all security and safety measures, and not following strict modern maintenance programs. Boukhadour indicated that fire incidents may also result from acts of sabotage.

He denied that fire accidents in the oil sector were caused by aging or deterioration of the refineries, as the refineries are still in good condition. Boukhadour also demanded that the Oil minister be an expert or worker in the oil field, especially since this ministry deals with a very sensitive sector. He stressed the importance of developing all security and safety programs on a permanent basis to prevent the recurrence of accidents in the oil sector, especially fire accidents.

Boukhadour explained that oil is a liquid substance that is produced in large quantities, due to which it is necessary to carry out strict preventive maintenance to prevent fire accidents or oil leakages, as all parts of the pumps are supposed to undergo a set of continuous tests. He stressed the need to protect small rooms in these oil facilities from fire accidents resulting from the leakage of flammable materials and use accurate alarms of high speed to serve as initial fire indicators.

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