Kuwait Refinery Shuts, New Capacity Delayed, Crude Exports To Rise

KNPC has shut down its oldest refinery. Crude exports will soar until new capacity starts up. Scheduled for 2018-19, this may well be delayed.

Kuwait’s state refiner KNPC shuttered its aging 200,000 b/d Shuaiba refinery at the end of March.

The plant was originally slated to operate until the start-up of the country’s ambitious $12bn ‘clean fuels project’ refinery expansion and upgrade plans. But this in turn has been pushed back from 2017 to 2018-19, and even the latter timeframe may prove ambitious.

KNPC brought forward the Shuaiba shutdown after a series of unscheduled outages. A fire in a heavy crude demulsifier preceded the company’s decision to shutter the aging plant permanently ( MEES, 27 November 2015 ). Also weighing on the plant’s economics is the fact that its output – the majority of which had been exported – could not meet tightening fuel standards in many countries, making it unable to compete with new Saudi and UAE export-oriented refineries. KNPC may find it more economic to simply export the additional crude. (CONTINUED - 820 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Kuwait Crude Exports Set To Top 75% Of Output With Shuaiba Shutdown (Mn B/D)
table Kuwait Refining Capacity ('000 B/D)