An oil spill in the Muzaffargarh district in southern Punjab, Pakistan, may have originated from any one of the three large oil storage facilities in the region.
Pakistan is in the midst of a catastrophic flood, which has left millions homeless and may have washed away thousands of tonnes of oil and chemical stored in the districts three major oil depots, posing a threat to the environment.
The oily water is feared to spread across large swathes of land and could travel right up to the Arabian Sea, leaving the ecosystem of the area flooded, land damaged and bruised.
PSOs Mehmood Kot depot is the main source of supply for diesel, kerosene and lubricants to all the bulk supply depots in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Lalpir depot is the other facility with a capacity to stock 61,000 tonnes of fuel oil and 9,000 tonnes of diesel oil. It feeds Kot Addu Power Station and AES Lalpir Power Generation. Parco, the nations largest oil refinery, also maintains a large storage facility in Muzaffargarh, supplying petrol, diesel, kerosene and lubricants across the country.
According to the district administration heavy floodwaters have damaged these storage sites, with the result that thousands of tonnes of oil spilled and dispersed over a 100km area.
This has also affected 0.5 million acres of crops.