When the Duqm refinery’s inauguration was celebrated in February, the national importance of the project was on full show. Leaders from Kuwait and Oman made the trip down to Oman’s coastal industrial hub, and ceremonies on the day emphasized the national achievement the $9bn project represented (MEES, 9 February).

Now that the refinery is up and running, the OQ8 joint venture of Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI: 50%) and Oman’s OQ which operates the refinery is keen to capitalize on the company’s independence and flexibility as a merchant refiner. “We hope to be a trading-led merchant refinery, capitalizing on opportunities as they present themselves,” CEO David Bird tells MEES in a wide-ranging interview (MEES, 5 July). (CONTINUED - 1561 WORDS)