KPC-Sinopec MOU Boosts Refinery Plans

Following a historic two-day visit to Tehran last week, Kuwaiti Amir, Shaikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah, led a delegation to China, where a memorandum of understanding to enhance oil and gas sector cooperation was reached between state-owned counterparts Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Sinopec. While the MOU appears to be vague, it may further boost odds that a planned 300,000 b/d joint venture (JV) refinery between KPC’s overseas downstream arm Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) and Sinopec will move forward. KPI CEO Bakhit al-Rashidi recently told MEES that he is optimistic the planned JV will be built with KPI’s participation, as Sinopec had agreed to build an integrated petrochemicals complex with the refinery (MEES, 23 May). However, while KPI and Sinopec have agreed in principle to the shareholder structure, KPI hopes to find an elusive foreign partner to absorb some of its share. (CONTINUED - 288 WORDS)