Kuwait’s Al-Zour refinery delayed over technical glitch, CEO says

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation CEO says outlook for China’s oil consumption ‘encouraging’ despite headwinds.

The Al-Zour refinery will be among the biggest oil refineries in the Middle East once it is completed [File: Stephanie McGehee/Reuters]

Construction on Kuwait’s Al-Zour refinery has been pushed back to the end of the summer due to a technical glitch, the chief executive of  Kuwait Petroleum Corporation has said.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Sheikh Nawaf al-Sabah said the third section of the refinery had been delayed after a technical fault forced the facility to halt operations last month.

“We expect this in the early phases of operation, especially for a world-scale refinery of this size,” al-Sabah was quoted as saying in the interview published on Tuesday.

Al-Sabah said the company was currently operating two of three sections at the refinery after the glitch forced the cessation of the whole facility for two weeks, Bloomberg reported, with the third line expected to go into operation in June.

Al-Sabah also told Bloomberg that the outlook for China’s oil consumption was “encouraging” despite headwinds.

Al-Zour will add 615,000 barrels a day to Kuwait’s refining capacity once completed, making it one of the biggest oil-processing facilities in the Middle East, according to Bloomberg.

Kuwait, one of the world’s largest oil producers, generates almost half of its gross domestic product (GDP) and about 90 percent of government export revenues from oil sales, according to the International Trade Administration.

Most of Kuwait’s oil exports go to Asian clients, with China ranking as the biggest purchaser, followed by South Korea, India, Japan and Vietnam.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies