Breached Pipe Causes Oil Leak in Haifa Bay; Two Beaches Closed

Ship hits pipeline during effort to replace old oil ducts; Environmental Protection Ministry calls it a 'minor incident.'

Zafrir Rinat
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An oil leak in Haifa bay, Israel, July 5, 2016.
An oil leak in Haifa bay, Israel, July 5, 2016.Credit: Environment Ministry
Zafrir Rinat

An oil pipe in the Haifa Bay was hit by a ship on Tuesday, causing a leak. The incident took place during an effort to replace old oil ducts waged by Petroleum & Energy Infrastructures Ltd., known in Hebrew as Tashan.

The Interior Ministry has closed the Kiryat Yam and Kiryat Haim beaches until the leak is cleaned up. 

A view of Haifa Bay, which is home to much of Israel’s heavy industry, including the Haifa Oil Refineries.Credit: Moran Mayan

According to Tashan, the flow of oil into the water has been stopped. It wasn't immediately clear how much oil had leaked, the company said, adding that it is dealing with the cleanup.

According to the Environmental Protection Ministry, this is a minor incident that saw a few cubic meter of oil spilling into the sea, some of which has already been contained and pumped out of the water.