The November 2022 start-up of Kuwait’s massive 615,000 b/d Al Zour refinery was one of the most anticipated recent events in the Middle East’s energy sector. While primarily configured to supply fuel oil to domestic power plants, KPC CEO Nawaf Al Sabah has said it “is designed to have a wall of middle distillates, essentially diesel and jet fuel, going into Europe.”

So far, that wall has failed to materialize despite the steady ramp-up of operations at Al Zour. Data intelligence firm Kpler shows that just 15,000 b/d of middle distillates was exported to Europe from the plant in March. Out of the 96,000 b/d total middle distillates exports last month, by far the largest destination was Djibouti on 61,000 b/d (see chart 1), as volumes stayed local. (CONTINUED - 871 WORDS)