Ecological assessments in Basra
Basra, the historic port city in southern Iraq, was once glorified as the Venice of the Gulf. However, the 2003 Iraq war left much of the city in ruin. Since the end of the war, the central Iraqi government is trying to restore the city’s infrastructure to pre-invasion levels. The Basrah Gas Company (BGC) is an Iraqi government and Shell venture. It aims to meet the challenges of the area. One objective is “to turn Basra’s province’s vast natural gas resources into a blessing for the current and future generations”. The BGC appointed RSK Group to provide environmental services (phase 1) and undertake soil and groundwater assessments (phase 2) to satisfy government regulations.
Regional group teams conducted groundwater and soil assessments at 23 facilities and 9 pipeline locations. Phase 2 began in 2015 and, according to detailed reports, “established a clear and sufficient contamination baseline to identify pre-existing contamination”.
To support the written assessment, RSK group’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team collected and sorted vast data regarding BGC’s scope and facility plans, including detailed surveys and areas of contamination. GIS used a cloud-based mapping platform to streamline and share data, which included the 23 facilities assessed in phase 1.
The GIS team managed and coordinated terabytes worth of data against challenging deadlines. The team’s graphical work translated dense data into easy-to-understand information. The BGC commended the group’s work and has maintained its services for more sampling, analysis and reporting.