Kuwait Buys Oil Products to Boost Strategic Reserves Following Refinery Blast

Published July 1st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwait has bought some refined petroleum products from "brotherly" countries to reinforce its strategic reserves following a deadly explosion at its largest refinery, newspapers reported Saturday. 

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) said in a statement that it had bought 100,000 tons of fuel oil and 75,000 tons of petrol "as a precaution and to boost Kuwait's strategic reserves." 

The state-run KPC gave no further details of the purchases. 

Five people were killed and 50 injured in a blast Sunday caused by a gas leak at the Al-Ahmadi refinery some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the capital. 

The refinery was severely damaged in the explosion, and Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah said Tuesday the necessary repairs would cost around 330 million dollars. 

One expert has recommended building a new refinery rather than repairing Al-Ahmadi, which uses outmoded technology. 

Kuwait on Monday resumed crude oil exports from a terminal adjacent to Al-Ahmadi refinery, but exports of refined products from the refinery are not expected to restart for several weeks. 

Kuwait, which has a production capacity of over 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) saw its production quota increased at last week's OPEC meeting from 1.98 million to 2.037 million bpd starting on July 1st. 

Al-Ahmadi refinery, which has a capacity of 450,000 bpd, representing half of Kuwait's refined oil exports, has been completely shut down for "up to 10 days" for damage assessment. 

According to an initial assessment, an oil distillation unit with a capacity of 122,000 bpd was extensively damaged and another with 120,000 bpd capacity suffered medium damage in the explosion caused by a gas leak - KUWAIT CITY (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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