Burning Oil Iraq
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Burning Oil, Iraq

January 20, 2006
These images acquired by Envisat's MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) are centered over the broad central alluvial plain occupied by the valley of the river Tigris (flowing from the top center of the image) and the Euphrates (flowing from the top left corner). The top image shows a huge black smoke cloud (in the center of the image) produced by the burning of an oil pipeline near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Media reports an act of sabotage along the segment of the pipeline that transports crude oil from Kirkuk to Baija, the site of Iraq's largest fuel refinery. In comparison, the bottom image shows the same scenario three days before the pipeline was aflame. Kirkuk, in the north of Baghdad (seen in the image in grey color on the Tigris river), is in one of the richest oil fields of the country, accounting for 40 percent of Iraq's oil production. The city is origin of pipelines extending to the Mediterranean coast.

Images processed by Brockman Consult.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Envisat
  • Instrument: MERIS
  • Acquisition: 27-Aug-2003
  • Orbit nr: 07790
  • Center coordinates: lat. 34.14, lon. 43.90

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