WE think our country is going through the worst time of its history. Our government is surrounded by all kinds of problems, and it simply cannot think in either direction. It is paralyzed and cannot communicate with the majority of the members of our National Assembly, as well as give huge concessions to other members that are siding with it. This includes meeting any demand, as long as they vote and side with the government, and with nothing to be shy of. In the meantime, nothing is moving forward … domestic violence is on the rise … the COVID-19 situation is not stabilizing … the number of new cases and deaths are increasing. There is no improvement locally.
The only good news is that oil prices are still at a comfortable level at $ 65 – $ 66, and far better than what it was this time last year. We are entering the new fiscal year with a good number, although we will be facing another deficit of more than KD 6 billion or $ 18 billion by the end of the year. We do have many opportunities to move forward and overcome, either by copying our neighboring oil-producing countries such as Saudi Aramco in selling or lessening their assets, or sharing oil wealth by selling partially, like Aramco did with five percent of its shares.
Our opportunities are more, as we don’t have any foreign partnership except for one with Dow in our petrochemical company. We can easily sell out the oil tanker company, the aviation company KAFCO, and the gas plant, which could easily run by the private sector, as well as our upstream company KUFPEC. Or we could just privatize all our three refineries, with updated technology and updated units. Alas, such a thing can’t happen in our country with a government that has no vision, no determination, and lacks transparency completely, thereby losing its credibility. Until such a time, more bad news will perhaps be pouring before it fixes itself with some miracle, such as forming a new government, and new elections.
By Kamel Al-Harami Independent Oil Analyst