THE setbacks and floundering of the oil companies empire and its leaders, who think they give us the only source of income for our country, could be attributed to the fact that the empire is being plagued by its leaders who hate the idea of planning for the future to continue for decades. This is in addition to its billions of losses and expenses.
Many of these leaders are religious outwardly; without showing that religion is about good treatment, integrity and sincerity rather than the empty appearances they share with those belonging to many non-Islamic religions and trends…. However, this is not our issue… Our topic is about the deliberate negligence in managing this vital sector. This sector is very important, because we would have returned to diving and traveling without it!
Our esteemed colleague — reporter Saad Al-Sheety — informed us through the pages of Al-Qabas daily on Aug 12 about the dozens of stories of abuses in the oil sector. We have been acquainted with such stories from time to time.
Some time ago, Al-Qabas daily raised the ‘pump tender’ issue and production losses in Kuwait’s oil sector; caused by poor management of the tender resulting in tens of variation orders and cost our public treasury a huge sum.
The company paid huge amounts to drilling contractors as a result of not operating drilling rigs due to lack of equipment stipulated in the contracts, as well as the delay in qualifying companies for a period of two years under the pretext of amending the conditions of pumps and qualifying other companies directly involved in the oil production of Kuwait.
Sources made it clear to Al-Qabas daily that a directorate, whose size is the same as that of the wells inspection group which controls 70 percent of Kuwait’s oil production and responsible for huge and complex operations, cannot be under the supervision and custody of just one manager.
Despite the horrific failure that worked against Kuwaiti oil production, the good-hearted oil leaders merely recycled it without accountability or referring those who caused such heavy losses to the Public Prosecution and without conducting an internal investigation.
In 1993, after the return of Kuwaiti production and extinguishing of oil fires, we were without oil share in OPEC and a barrel of oil was worth no more than $12. Any increase in the production of OPEC countries would lead to reduction in the price of a barrel!
In my capacity as the first oil official (Minister of Oil), I exerted tremendous efforts to restore Kuwait’s share as it was before the invasion — a share similar to that of the sisterly country United Arab Emirates (UAE); that is, 1.8 million barrels of oil.
I still remember during my official interviews with ministers and heads of OPEC countries as I tried to persuade them to return that share to us, I used the term ‘parity’ — meaning similarity — with the sisterly Emirates.
Thank God, I succeeded in that most difficult task, because the sisterly country UAE is producing more than 3.5 million barrels and we are still the same!!
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil