Aqaba Spill Dumps 200 Tons of Crude Oil Into Red Sea

Two men sit on wall overlooking the Red Sea at a popular cafe in the northwestern Saudi town of al-Wajh on April 25, 2016.

The Times of Israel reports: A burst pipe at Jordan’s port of Aqaba has spilled at least 200 tons of crude oil into the Red Sea, Israel’s foreign and environmental protection ministries said Tuesday.

A joint statement from both ministries said Israel had contacted Jordanian officials to offer assistance with cleaning up the spill.

Environment Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold approved the offer to supply Israeli equipment and manpower to help clean-up efforts, but the Jordanians were currently “handling the incident themselves,” the statement said.

Erez Halfon, chairman of the company that runs Israel’s Eilat-Ashkelon oil pipeline, wrote to Jordanian authorities to urge them to accept the assistance of the company’s engineers, who he said had the skills and training to contain the spill.

Environmental Protection Ministry officials were closely monitoring the leak’s possible impact on Israel’s adjacent beach city of Eilat, but did not note any immediate threat to Israeli beaches.

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