Kuwait hopes to boost oil sales to India through refinery stake

The country intends to sign an agreement to buy a stake in an Indian refinery and petrochemical project in about one to two weeks

Middle Eastern oil producer Kuwait hopes to sell an additional 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to India through the purchase of a stake in an oil refinery in the country, Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) Chief Executive Officer Nabil Bourisli said on Wednesday.

Kuwait intends to sign an agreement to buy a stake in an Indian refinery and petrochemical project in about one to two weeks, Bourisli said while attending the International Energy Forum in New Delhi. He did not give a location for the project other than in India.

Bourisli said that Kuwait’s oil production is at 2.7 million bpd currently to comply with the supply cuts of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, down from their actual capacity of as much as 3.3 million bpd.

“We’re going with the OPEC quota so we cannot do anything even with the increasing demand in the world,” said Bourisli. “What’s important to OPEC now is to get an acceptable level of the price.”

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Exports of Kuwait’s new light crude has been delayed, likely to the second quarter, because of problems at production facilities, he said. Output of the light crude will start at 100,000 bpd before increasing to 300,000 bpd, he said.

“If we increase light crude exports, we will have to reduce KEC” to keep production at 2.7 million bpd, he said referring to Kuwait’s sole export grade.

Kuwait operates two refineries with a total capacity of about 780,000 bpd, he said. It has a clean fuels project to upgrade a refinery which will be completed by October while its Al-Zour refinery, with a capacity of 615,000 bpd, is on track for start-up in the second half of 2019, he said.

Kuwait also expects its Vietnam joint-venture refinery to ramp up to full production by the end of August after running at half of its capacity in February, he said.

Its joint-venture Duqm refinery-petrochemical complex in Oman is due to be completed by the end of 2022.

Read: Kuwaits says work on $7bn Oman oil refinery to begin in April