Kuwait's Oil Minister Submits Resignation

Published June 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah announced his resignation Monday after taking political responsibility for the Ahmadi refinery blast that killed five and injured almost 50 Sunday. 

"My political responsibilities obliged me to submit my resignation to the emir," Sheikh Saud told parliament. 

It was not immediately clear whether his resignation had been accepted by the emirate's ruler, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah. 

"The main officials in the oil sector have also submitted their resignations to me until the investigation into the blast is completed," the minister said, adding a "technical committee has been formed to investigate the cause of the accident." 

Five oil workers were killed and almost 50 injured in Sunday's blast and fire caused by a leak in a gas pipeline at Kuwait's biggest oil refinery, forcing its shutdown. 

All but seven of the injured had been discharged from hospital, Sheikh Saud told the country's 65-member National Assembly at its weekly session. 

Sheikh Saud also stressed that the state-run KPC (Kuwait Petroleum Corp.) "is continuing to meet its international (oil export) obligations. The situation is totally under control." 

The minister said Sunday, however, that some contracts for refined products would have to be scrapped. 

"There has been coordination with KPC to supply our customers with crude oil instead of the products," he said. "Kuwaiti production will continue (at the same level)." 

Forty percent of Kuwait's oil exports are in the form of refined products, while the emirate currently has an OPEC output quota of 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd) -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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