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Kuwait eyes more crude oil exports to China: official

SHANGHAI: Deputy Managing Director of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s (KPC) International Marketing Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah speaks at the second edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. – KUNA photos

SHANGHAI: A senior Kuwaiti oil official affirmed yesterday that his country plans to increase its crude oil exports to China to more than 600,000 barrels per day by 2019. Kuwait’s volume of liquefied natural gas exports to China has significantly increased to over two millions tons annually, making up nearly 40 percent of its total exports, Deputy Managing Director of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s (KPC) International Marketing Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah said. Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah made his remarks while addressing participants of the second edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

Kuwait considers China as one of its main strategic partners, he affirmed, noting KPC’s cooperation relationship and partnership with China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), particularly in the energy field. Kuwait’s oil exports have grown significantly thanks to its partnerships with China, notably Sinopec Group, especially since KPC opened its representation office in Beijing in 2005, Sheikh Khaled noted, adding such mutual understanding and support was the key for this partnership’s success. The KPC-Sinopec cooperation includes oil-manufacturing sectors such as oil extraction and refinery, in addition to exporting oil derivatives, marketing, business development, investment, and joint operations, said the Kuwaiti official.

The Kuwaiti-Chinese oil cooperation is very “promising” and would contribute to the two countries’ prosperity for long years to come, he noted, affirming his country seeks to maintain the stability of international oil markets. Kuwait aspires to faster global economic growth as it continues, through KPC, to supply the international markets, particularly the Chinese ones, with crude oil and its various related-products, said Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah. As part of its strategy, the Kuwaiti corporation seeks to increase its production capacity of crude oil to more than four million barrels per day, as well as 2.5 billion cubic meters of LNG by 2040, he noted.

Furthermore, Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah affirmed KPC’s strive to reach a total refinery capacity of crude oil to about 1.4 million barrels per day by 2021, in addition to investment on an international level to secure best returns for Kuwaiti oil. On KPC’s current oil projects, he mentioned clean fuel as one, in addition to development and integration of local refineries in order to secure production of high-quality products that match international environmental criteria.

Moreover, KPC would construct an LNG station with a total capacity of nearly three billion British thermal units per day in order to maintain Kuwait’s LNG needs and achieve better environmental criteria on the local level. Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah also mentioned that KPC plans to construct a new refinery, called Zour Refinery, which has been designed in accordance to international standards and in a total major capacity of nearly 615,000 barrels per day to cover Kuwait’s energy needs.

Highest level

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ambassador to China Sameh Hayat affirmed Friday that “prosperous” bilateral relations with China are at the highest of levels. Acting upon wise directions of both leaderships, and stemming of a mutual political desire, the two countries succeeded in establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership, Hayat said while addressing participants of the second edition of the International Financial Cooperation Forum 2019 in Shanghai.

Kuwait’s participation this year reflects its interest to interact with such a significant financial event in one of China’s – and the world’s – leading economic cities, said the Kuwaiti envoy. It also embodies the fruitful outcomes of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s visit to China last July, which propelled the relationship between the two countries to higher strategic prospects, noted Hayat. Shanghai is also at the forefront of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative,’ launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, he added, noting that Kuwait was the first supporter and signatory on its cooperation pact with the Chinese government.

Hayat stressed the importance of organizing events of such a caliber more periodically and continually as the Shanghai Forum is considered one of the important economic meetings in the world. His Highness the Amir’s recent visit to China was one of the most successful throughout various junctures of the two countries historic relationship, as it achieved its desired objectives, he affirmed.

The Belt and Road Initiative is to contribute to global economic prosperity, he said, noting Kuwait would be one of its launching pads due for its distinctive geographic location in north of the Arabian Gulf. Hayat also said the initiative matches Kuwait government’s strategic vision in making the country a safe sea route, a major commercial hub, and a core of a network of steel lines starting from China and ending in Jerusalem through Central Asia and other countries. – KUNA

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