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EIA OF SUDAN'S OIL FIELDS - Hydrological EFFECTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE  OIL INDUSTRY

 

 

The construction of all­weather roads in connection with the oil exploration has had a visible effect on drainage patterns in the Sudd and can as such be seen in all areas of the Sudd, however, especially in oil block 5a, 4 and 3. Several watercourse blockages can be spotted in the images in the form of moisture (low values in Landsat band 5 and thermal band 6) that is trapped on one side of the raised oil roads and thereby indicates disturbed natural drainage. One of the severe cases is north of the Thar Jath oil field where a blockage more than 8 km long was first observed in 2003 and has increased in 2004 and still present in 2006.

 

Development of oil industry in Block 5a - pink shows areas where water damming was observed - coursed by road construction. In the background image (Landsat ETM SWIR band 5) moist areas are the dark parts - it can be observed that the Thar Jath oil field is placed on the very moist edges of the White Nile.     

 

The hydrological changes at Thar Jath have been observed on satellite images three years after the all-weather road was constructed and the drilling/production started. Given the hydrological conditions in the area there is a risk that the water may have been polluted due to oil production, which would be of serious environmental concern - especially as the White Nile River is only 5 km away. Resent released information (CNN: 07-Dec-09) on oil pollution in block 5 support the concerns. 

 

Furthermore, from Landsat on the 8th November 2004 an irregularity was observed in the Thar Jath oil field,  when a thick black cloud with a 13 km black fane could be observed from one of the boreholes. No burning or hot temperatures were observed from the spot and an investigation for a ‘blow­out’ and resultant oil spill should be made. 

 

Thar Jath oil field recorded the 8 of November 2004 - note the blocking of draining along the road NE of the oil field. Furthermore, a big black cloud was rasing from one of the bore holes and producing a smoke fane going in a SW direction.

 

 

Thar Jath oil field recorded 13 October 2006 showing drain bloking on the eastern side of the oil road.

 

DRAIN BLOCKING EAST OF ADAR YALE OIL FIELD - BLOCK 3

The upper image show drain blocking in area 3 - observed from Landsat in late 2005, the lower map show that the drain blocking (pink lines) was affecting one of the major draining systems in the Sudd.

 

 

 

Client: The European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS)

 

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