Oil-rich Kuwait gets power back on after widespread blackout

AP News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2015 5:18 AM

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — A country known for its vast energy wealth just couldn't keep the lights on — at least for a short while.

A sweeping blackout that struck the tiny but oil-rich Kuwait on Wednesday evening knocked out lights even at the international airport, brought out the amateur comedians on social media and got lawmakers Thursday asking why so much of the OPEC nation suddenly went dark.

The power cut happened when a technical fault struck a transmission line linked to the al-Subbyia power station, according to Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Abdulaziz al-Ibrahim whose remarks were carried by the official Kuwait News Agency.

Residents in the car-loving country reported unusually thick traffic jams caused by darkened traffic lights.

Emergency measures used to bring power back online following the outage included the use of an electrical link to the rest of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and other energy-rich Arab nations.

Engineers managed to get power fully restored within a matter of hours, but by then the jokes were already flowing.

"Is our oil gone? I'm contemplating getting my very first camel now," wrote Twitter user known as SarahAlBusairi. Another user on the social media site predicted a Kuwaiti baby boom come November.

Kuwait is one of the largest oil exporters in the 12-member OPEC bloc, producing roughly 2.7 million barrels of crude a day.