There is growing speculation that state firm Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is nearing a deal with Swiss trader Gunvor for sale of the 88,000 b/d Rotterdam refinery. KPC operates the plant through its Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) overseas refining and marketing subsidiary.

For KPI the sale would be a big step in trimming its European operations, reducing its emphasis on refining as it expands in retail. For Gunvor, the deal offers further diversification. The company has already bought the 110,000 b/d Ingolstadt refinery in Germany and the 107,500 b/d Antwerp refinery in Belgium. KPI operates more than 4,000 retail stations in Europe and aims to expand its sales and related operations. Besides marketing products refined from imported Kuwait crude, it also sells lubricants in Europe for KPC’s domestic refining subsidiary, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). (CONTINUED - 507 WORDS)