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Kuwait hosts Gulf and global energy debate

Updated : Saturday, 12 January 2019, 08:00:01 AM
Kuwait has plenty on its energy plate to share with the world
By Editorial Staff
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KUWAIT CITY(IAMINKUWAIT): Petroleum Economist’s 5th GCC Energy Strategy Forum in Kuwait City on 5 February will showcase the country’s strategy and that of other Gulf states in the face of a changing global energy environment

Kuwait has plenty on its energy plate to share with the world. Upstream contracts awarded over recent years are beginning to produce results. The project to develop difficult sour gas (Jurassic) reserves is underway, with initial output of around 500mn cfd of gas and 200,000 bl/d of condensate. Production of heavy crude oil from fields in the north of the country has also begun.

The scope for further upstream investment will be outlined by Kuwait's new Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water, Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation deputy Chairman and CEO, Hashem Hashem. Each will be giving a Keynote Address at the start of the GCC Energy Strategy Forum, providing a unique opportunity for delegates to learn about the thinking of Kuwait's new-look energy leadership.

Fadhel is a former commerce ministry undersecretary and professor at Kuwait University's Faculty of Engineering and Petroleum. Hashem, with a wealth of experience as CEO of Kuwait Oil Company-the state upstream operator—is well placed to oversee further expansion of oil and gas operations. Both will hope that 2019 turns out to be the year when production resumes in the Neutral Zone shared with Saudi Arabia, allowing Kuwait to receive its half-share of up to 300,000 bl/d.

As for the downstream, work on a clean fuels project to improve the quality of output from the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah oil refineries is nearing completion. At the same time, construction of Kuwait's premier downstream project-the 615,00-bl/d Al-Zour refinery in the Neutral Zone—is continuing. Completion of the new facility—the only oil refinery under construction in the Middle East—is scheduled for 2020.

The GCC Energy Strategy Forum will also review Kuwait's important role as a prominent and influential member of Opec, at a time of varied challenges to global oil production and prices. The boom in US oil and gas production, and the global surge in renewables, are developments that the GCC states have to face up to.

Aside from these issues and others, such as uncertain future demand in China and the impact of sanctions on Iranian oil exports, the global energy sector is having to cope with challenges that are not directly related to oil and gas.

The trade war between the US and China is an example of the kind of development that could challenge the efforts of OPEC and non-OPEC states to keep the global oil market in balance. The Kuwait forum will discuss how the turbulent world we live in today could affect the global oil sector.

Against the background of these profound and often unpredictable developments, Middle Eastern oil and gas producers cannot neglect investing for the future. During the Forum, expert speakers will address possible new finance methods and examine investment opportunities. Panellists on this topic include Rani Selwanes, Managing Director of NBK Capital; Andy Brogan, Global Oil & Gas Transaction Advisory Services Leader at EY; and Vince Gordon, Partner at HFW.

There is no shortage of energy-related topics requiring examination and analysis, and no better place to discuss them than Kuwait City, one of the world's leading oil and gas capitals. For despite the many changes on the world's energy scene, the GCC remains a key producer of oil and gas—a role that it will continue to play for many years to come.

You can apply for your complimentary place to join this important event here.

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