KUWAIT CITY, July 12: Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), which represents the economic nerve of the country, is passing through a critical stage in terms of mismanagement and floundering in making sound decisions about vital projects that would contribute to raising the production ceiling and increasing the State’s imports.
Despite the conclusion of agreements worth billions with international consultants, according to information and documents obtained, a number of projects that would contribute to strategies for increasing the level of production were not executed.
They were in fact retracted for unknown reasons even though their initial designs were completed and millions of dinars were spent on these designs. This has resulted in the wastage of public money and constituted a threat to the state’s imports, thus calling for a strict pause from the regulatory authorities to protect the public funds.
According to informed sources from the oil sector, even though KOC approved a group of major projects for which it disbursed KD 50 million, everyone was surprised by the reversal and cancellation of those projects. These projects include the water handling project in North Kuwait, the design cost of which exceeded KD 11 million, and the light oil export project, the initial design of which cost more than KD 9 million, as well as the project to develop the 24th oil collection center.
They explained that millions of dinars were spent in the preliminary stages of these projects – feed stage – during which the required studies and initial designs were done in coordination with a global consultant. However due to some unknown reasons after spending millions and despite its need for these projects, the company retreated from them.
The confusion in the designs of major projects has become a feature of KOC recently. Despite its use of international consultants for the multibillion contracts, the company has been canceling projects even though their initial designs have been completed and they cost the public funds tens of millions of dinars.
The sources asked, “What is the role of global consultants in these projects? Why such confusion in their approval? Why did the company spend millions of dinars on these projects and then cancel them later? Are there suspicions of benefit and gain by spending on initial project designs?”(Al Qabas)