The first 205,000 b/d unit of Kuwait’s 615,000 b/d Al Zour refinery is up and running, and on 8 December state firm Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) inaugurated the first of two Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (LSFO) 30inch pipelines connecting the refinery to Kuwait’s existing pipeline network at Al-Ahmadi.

Kuwait had already exported its first cargo of LSFO from the refinery in late November (MEES, 25 November), but the primary task of the refinery has always been to supply the domestic market. When the Al Zour refinery was originally conceived, and when it finally received parliamentary approval in 2015 (MEES, 20 February 2015), the intention was for it to process domestically-produced heavy crude and supply Kuwait’s power plants with LSFO to ease gas shortages. Contracts were awarded in 2015 with an eye towards a 2019 start up (MEES, 31 July 2015). (CONTINUED - 852 WORDS)