Qatari-Belgian research team develops system for early detection of oil spills in Arabian Gulf

Qatari-Belgian research team develops system for early detection of oil spills in Arabian Gulf

Researchers with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in cooperation with Belgian University UCLouvain developed a system that helps identify and monitor potential oil spills in the Arabian Gulf.

The system helps protect coastal facilities vital for “desalination and energy exports from the risks of accidents caused by oil tankers” according to QNA (Qatar News Agency).

Chief Scientist and Research Director of the Earth Science Program at QEERI (Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Dr. Essam Heggy, told QNA that the study identified locations posing high risk to vital facilities to be closely monitored for any natural or manmade accidents to oil tankers.

According to Dr. Heggy, the study relied heavily on developing digital simulation models based on navigation maps, water currents and wind directions and monitored the movement of 14,000 oil tankers in Arabian Gulf waters over five years to determine the areas of high risk, contributing to local and regional efforts to end these risks.

In line with Qatar’s ambitions to play an integral role in matters of global importance, in the fields of technology and sustainability, all the while securing its existing leading role as one of the world’s biggest LNG exporters, this system fulfils all three needs: protects the marine environment from contamination in Qatari and regional waters, protects their LNG assets and advances their expertise in technology.

The study was published in the Natural Sustainability Journal, the first ever Qatari study about Qatar to be published in the scientific journal.

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