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Kuwait expected to become second largest oil refining country in region

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Fitch Solutions expects the growth of fuel refining production in Kuwait by 35% in 2023, with expectations of an increase in the production of the new phase of the Al-Zour refinery during 2023 and 2024; while the remaining 60% will be allocated to the production of diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and other petroleum products for export, reports Al-Qabas daily. The agency said in its report that while there is no accurate information about when the Al-Zour refinery will be operational at full capacity, media reports indicate that this may happen within a few months.

However, it is believed that this time frame is overly optimistic, given the history of delays that have plagued the refinery’s work in the past. The agency added, it expects the refinery to achieve full production capacity gradually, with about half of the full capacity in 2023 and the other half in 2024. By next year, Kuwait will have a total refining capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day, and it will become the second largest country for refining capacity in the Middle East and North Africa region after Saudi Arabia. As a result, the refined fuel in Kuwait will increase by 35% to 1.05 million barrels per day in 2023, before increasing significantly to 1.4 million barrels per day in 2024, says the agency.

On the other hand, the full operation of the Al-Zour refinery will lead to an increase in Kuwait’s fuel exports to more than 3 times by 2024, at the expense of crude oil exports, and it is expected that Kuwait’s fuel exports will increase significantly from 290 thousand barrels per day in 2022 to 910 thousand barrels per day in the year next.

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