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Kuwait lost up to $200m during oil strike

Kuwait lost up to $200m during oil strike

A three-day strike by oil and gas workers ended last Wednesday

Kuwait lost between $175m and $200m during last week’s three-day strike by national oil and gas workers, according to reports.

Kuwait Times cited official sources for the estimate and said up to 60 per cent of the country’s oil production was halted during the strike, which lasted from April 17 to 20.

On Saturday, the country’s production returned to 3 million barrels per day after the strike cut output to as little as 1.1 million bpd. Gas production also exceeded 1 billion cubic feet, sources told the publication.

Exports were not stopped during the period as the country dug into its 12 million barrels of reserves.

The sources said they expected production to increase to 3.1 million bpd when all gathering centres have reentered service.

The strike by workers at Kuwait Oil Company, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, Equate Petrochemical Industries Company and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company was in protest of proposed cuts to salaries and benefits.

The government wants to include up to 20,000 oil workers under its new public payroll system as low oil prices hit coffers, according to reports.

Kuwait is expected to post a budget deficit of KD 12.2bn ($40.2bn) for 2016-2017, nearly 50 per cent higher than the previous year.

The country’s Finance Ministry said in January that revenues would only cover 71 per cent of state salaries and associated costs, estimated at KD 10.4bn.

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