Kuwait denied on October 11th reports that its attempts to restart a crude distillation unit at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery on October 7th had failed. The Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC), the refining arm of the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC), said that: “Crude distillation unit (CDU No. 4) started operating October 7th.
The unit producing jet fuel started operations October 10th.” An official from KNPC indicated that the crude distillation unit is now partially operational, at a rate of 130,000 b/d. The official said that: “Within days, (the unit) will reach its maximum capacity.”
A source confirms that estimate to Oil Navigator™, saying that CDU No. 4 should be fully operational within five to seven days. The 200,000 b/d unit, one of three at Kuwait’s largest refinery, was shut down along with the entire 485,000 b/d refinery after an explosion in June that killed six people and wounded 50. The unit reportedly escaped damage in the blast caused by a gas leak.
KNPC had said that it would take six months for the facility to be reopened, but insiders have indicated that it could take up to a year for capacity to be fully restored. Insurance estimates have put the damage to the refinery at nearly $300 million.
KNPC had greatly boosted processing at the emirate’s other two refineries to satisfy most of the contractual demands of its products customers and had also offered crude supplies as a substitute for the refined products for which they had contracted.