Possible Future Risks of Pollution Consequent to the Expansion of Oil and Gas Operations in Qatar

  •  R. F. Al-Thani    
  •  B. T. Yasseen    


The air, water, and lands of the Arabian Gulf countries are exposed to contamination involving organic and inorganic components resulting from industrial energy sector activities. In Qatar, marine life and air are the primary elements of the ecosystem that pollution has negatively affected since the discovery and exportation of oil and gas. For example, the mean concentration of PM2.5 reached 105 µg/m3 in 2016. This poor air quality has been attributed to several factors: dust storms, vehicle emissions, and industrial emissions. Marine life around the peninsula of Qatar has been threatened by many factors, including discharge of desalinated seawater, oil and gas activities, and the impact of climate change. Studies conducted after multiple major events showed that levels of various types of pollutants were at acceptable levels. Some areas in the Arabian Gulf, such as the coasts of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, are still considered chronically polluted and need continual monitoring in the long term. This review discusses the pollution status on the Qatari coastlines and the reasons behind the persistence of current levels of pollution in Arabian Gulf water. The role of microorganisms (bacteria, algae, and fungi) in a biological approach for environmental manipulation of pollution problems is discussed. The agricultural lands in Qatar are possible sites of pollution due to the potential expansion of the energy, industry, and construction sectors in the future. Currently, industrial wastewater is pumped deep into the ground, and seawater is intruding into the main-land, which is causing significant contamination of soils used for the cultivation of various crops. Possible measures are reported, and practical solutions to future pollution risks are discussed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.