The DRPIC JV of Oman’s state firm OQ and Kuwait’s KPI has suspended Feed work on its Duqm petrochemical project, intended for integration with a refinery under construction on Oman’s east coast. DRPIC says halting Feed is “in the interest of the company” amid unprecedented global economic uncertainty “due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, depressed demand and highly volatile commodity prices.” OQ and KPI “intend to reassess the project” in the light of recent downward revisions to economic demand growth and “the importance of seeking opportunities to enhance the value of the project.” DRPIC awarded the petchems Feed to UK’s Wood Group last year (MEES, 7 June 2019). Construction of the 230,000 b/d Duqm refinery began in early 2019 and is due for completion in 2022 (MEES, 22 March 2019).

This is the second Gulf petchems project to be re-evaluated of late, after Saudi firms Aramco and Sabic announced they are looking to improve the economics of their $20bn crude oil to chemicals project by incorporating existing refining capacity with new petrochemicals units rather than having only new units (MEES, 23 October). (CONTINUED - 290 WORDS)