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The Al-Zour site chosen for Kuwait’s 615,000 b/d mega-refinery plans is on the coast of the Neutral Zone shared by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (see map, MEES, 11 October 2013). The Saudis are unhappy with the designated site and were left out of discussions with KNPC when the latter decided to center its massive downstream expansion in the Neutral Zone. Kuwait, meanwhile, has asked Chevron, Saudi Arabia’s upstream representative in the Neutral Zone, to move its offices from Mina Al-Zour. Kuwait says the offices overlap the planned Al-Zour refinery site. 300,000 b/d of Chevron-operated Khafji crude output was suspended unilaterally by Saudi Arabia in mid-October and remains offline. Effective development requires cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, more often than not decisions are taken unilaterally.
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