Kuwait seeks to increase its refining capacity abroad

Jan 25, 1997 01:00 AM

Kuwait is seeking to increase its overseas refining capacity while its domestic refining output will soon reach 900,000 bpd, Oil Minister Isa al-Mazeedi said."Kuwait Petroleum is seeking to invest in building or owning new refineries in the markets of east Asia, India and Europe," he told. Kuwait is seeking various outlets in stable markets for the long run to meet the Gulf Arab state's plan to raise crude production capacity to 3 mmbpd early in the next century, from a current 2.5 mmbpd. Kuwait is interested in refineries which can fully process Kuwaiti crudes. The domestic refining capacity by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company will rise to 900,000 bpd from 850,000 bpd when repair work on Shuaiba refinery is completed. Kuwait is currently studying options to raise refining capacity in Europe, including the "replacement" of a refinery in Denmark and another in Rotterdam "and entering as a partner in large and modern refineries...or modernising and expanding the Rotterdam refinery." Raising output from its share in European refineries to about 250,000 bpd, Kuwait last year signed a deal with Agip SpA for a 50 % stake in the Italian firm's Milazzo refinery and the purchase of 330 fuel stations. Kuwait's only other oversees refinery is the 80,000 bpd plant in Rotterdam. Last August Kuwait said it would close its uncompetitive 59,000 bpd refinery in Denmark early this year.

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