Kuwait’s crude oil exports are beginning the year at their lowest level in more than two decades thanks to the conclusion of a major refinery expansion program. Crude exports – excluding Kuwait’s share of Neutral Zone output – have been averaging barely 1.2mn b/d so far in 2024 according to Jodi and data intelligence firm Kpler. If this level is maintained through the remainder of the year, then crude exports will come in well below even last year’s 19-year low of 1.56mn b/d.

Much will depend on when and at what pace Opec+ voluntary cuts which cap Kuwaiti crude output at 2.41mn b/d until end-June are unwound. However, the biggest factor in crimping crude oil exports is refining runs, which hit an all time high 1.19mn b/d in January. Products exports of 1.02mn b/d in January were the second highest ever and put Kuwait on course to smash 2012’s record 805,000 b/d as well as the record products export revenue figure of $25.5bn set last year (MEES, 15 March). (CONTINUED - 1247 WORDS)