Last updated: 22 January, 2014

Kuwait’s three refineries halted after power cut

Kuwait’s three oil refineries, with a total production capacity of 930,000 barrels per day, halted operations on Wednesday following a power cut, a spokesman for the national refiner said.

“The three refineries have stopped operations, with the exception of the gas plants, after a power cut,” said Khaled al-Asousi, spokesman for the state-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) which owns the three refineries.

The refineries are located in the south near the oil city of Al-Ahmadi.

Asousi said that both crude production and exports of crude oil and refined products in the OPEC member have not been affected by the incident, which took place around noon Kuwait time (0900 GMT).

More than two-thirds of the output of the three refineries of Al-Ahmadi, Shuaiba and Mina Abdullah is intended for export.

Sousi said that resuming operations at the refineries may take up to two days.

“We have already started the damage assessment process and if everything is fine, production at the three refineries is expected to start after 24 hours, (but) could take 48 hours,” Sousi said.

Exports of oil products will not be affected because KNPC has reserves that are sufficient for a few days, he said.

The Gulf state is in the process of carrying out two mega projects to build a new refinery with a capacity of 615,000 bpd and upgrade two of the existing three refineries at a cost of around $30 billion.

Work is expected to be completed on both projects by 2018, when the refineries’ output is slated to reach 1.4 million bpd.

Kuwait pumps around 3.0 million bpd of crude oil and has a production capacity of 3.2 million bpd.