The Gulf war oil spill and the fires of the Kuwaiti oil fields are probably the worst two environmental crisis in human history. At the end of January 1990, intentionally spilled oil was reported in Kuwaiti and Northern Saudi Arabian waters. The magnitude of the spill was unknown and estimates varies from 0-5 to 11 million barrels (best estimate according to Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA) is 4-6 million barrels). It is the greatest oil spill ever to occur in human history. The time and location during the Gulf war and in war zone have added further burdens on this environmental catastrophe and opened a new chapter of environmental war crimes in human history.

The Research Institute of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KI/KFUPM) was assigned to be the scientific focal point during the crisis. Oil spill experts and scientists joined the Emergency Response Center to offer their expertise and enhance their knowledge. The available resources in terms of library, books, research of the area, equipment and human resources at all levels were optimally utilized.

International environmentalist team along with local scientists were organized to review the available literature and participate in field survey, aeroplane surveillance, planning future action and evaluation of suggested techniques and solutions. Scientific meetings were held on regular basis to review day to day status and exchange information and follow up on development

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