Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Landmines hamper Iraq oil boom, delay investment

Reuters  November 16, 2011

In Iraq’s vast southern desert, red sandbags stretch along roadsides to warn of the danger from Saddam-era landmines that litter the prized Rumaila oilfield. White ones signal areas safe to walk or drive.

Now recovering from decades of conflict, Iraq may have 25 million landmines and millions of other unexploded bombs that are slowing development of some of the world’s largest fields and one of Iraq’s key cities, the southern oil hub Basra.

“Landmines and (unexploded) war remnants are the silent enemy,” said Ali al-Maliki, head of the municipal security committee in Basra, where leftover ordnance is slowing the construction of bridges, homes and commercial districts.

The red- and white-painted sandbags seem a fragile safety barrier for the thousands of workers now striving to ramp up production from 17-billion-barrel supergiant Rumaila and the other massive fields surrounding Basra.

There was no protection for six de-miners killed recently when a pile of recovered mines and old ordnance exploded.

“The demining workers, along with Iraqi army officers, ignited a fuse to detonate a land mine pile close to Rumaila North, but nothing happened. When the team went back to check, the pile exploded,” said a Basra oil police investigator.

Please read the entire article here

November 16, 2011 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Iraq, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , , , , ,

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