1. Issues and background 1.1 Oil pipe leakage in IraqIn 2006, in Iraq of pollution with crude oil havethe total amount of oil spilled is 565,149 m³ and the quantities of liquid anddry gas leaked were 3560 tons as a result of 113 sabotage accidents of thepipeline in 7 provinces. Most of the incidents were in Baghdad, Kirkuk,Salahuddin, and Basra.
On the other hand, fire accidents are continual in anaverage of 20 days during 2006 and mostly in January, August andSeptember. The contaminated soil with crudeoil looks like black film or oil droplets splashing from the pipes that havebeen blown up. The percentages of hydrocarbon compounds in soil samples inlight polluted soil were 0.02-0.08% and 0.49-13.2% in highly polluted soils.These percentages decreased with the depth of soil (Ghazi, M.
M. and Aqeel, R.L., 2014) 1.2 Impact due to pipe leakageSoil fertility The toxicity of thehydrocarbon components that can affect the soil properties and plant growth canbe identified as follows: i. Lack of oxygenin soil caused by high concentrations of hydrocarbon gases and carbon dioxidethat will affect biological processes of plant roots and microorganisms. Thiswill result in the infertile soil.
ii. The heavyhydrocarbon blocks soil pores and consequently decreasing the permeability orporosity and water movement, and increase the difficulty of plant’s rootspenetration. The plant can’t grow in this particular polluted soil. iii. Spoilt thesoil structure and decreasing water holding capacity. Thus the soil dry and arenot suitable for living organism.
Lack of water will result to die as water arean important component in all living organism. iv. The nutrientsthat should be used by plants due to element competition and pH variation willbe depleted. In Iraq, an experimental study was conducted on plates of claysoil that contaminated with kerosene and gas oil (5% contamination), referAl-Azaawi (Al-Azaawi, D. F. 2000). The results showed that these two materialshave adversely affected the production of yellow corn.
In the experiment, itwas found that the increase of the production is related to the decompositionrate of the oil products, and the decreasing of the infiltration rate to thedecreasing of the pollution concentration. Meanwhile, there was no variation inthe pH and electrical conductivity of polluted soils. (Al-Khafaji, A.A.
, Askar,S.R., and Kasal, S.M.
, 1986; Ellis, R., and Adams, R.S., 1961). Thus provingthat this problem will give some impact in the future by decrease the soilfertility.
1.2.1 Water sourceThe hazardous character of oil mostly due to itstoxicity and compounds that do not degrade or chemically breaks up easily. Someof them are circling into the food chain and accumulates in living organismswhile others are very complicated and not easily transmitted and have lowtoxicity. However, the presence of oil on the surface affects the seedgermination rate and water absorption by the plant. There are a big number of chemical compoundsused in the petroleum industry such as the additives in the drilling process,oil refining and which is used in the removal of fat and deadly lichens, fungiand so on. Their movement direction must be traced because most of the compoundhave harmful effects and negative impact on the environment, especially onagricultural production.
Crude oil and the associated materials contain largeamounts of salt, such as sodium chloride and calcium chloride together with thematerials that are added during drilling operations. These salts cancontaminate the soil during leakage or spillage. The clay waste resulting from drillingoperations can also pollute the environment as it contains heavy metals.
Thesemetals are not easily decomposed by nature and can transport to long distanceby water. Most of these heavy metals are harmful to humans through drinkingwater or food, and their effect can be a cumulative and toxic (Al-Khafaji, A.A,1994; Al-Omar, M.A., 2001; Kiely, G., 1996).