Kuwait is Qatar’s primary supplier of ship fuel

Kuwait has sent 3 million barrels of fuel oil to Qatar in 2023
Kuwait is Qatar’s primary supplier of ship fuel
Ship fuel

Kuwait’s Al Zour refinery has made Kuwait the primary supplier of ship fuel to Qatar, the world’s leading liquified natural gas (LNG) producer and exporter. The newly operational Al Zour refinery produces a comprehensive range of products, including fuel oils, jet fuel, diesel, naphtha, and gasoline. As production increases, the country plans to solidify its position as one of the world’s leading oil and fuel producers. 

Al Zour

According to Kpler shipping data, Kuwait has sent 3 million barrels of fuel oil to Qatar in 2023. They have replaced Qatar’s list of suppliers from last year, such as Bahrain, Malaysia, and Singapore. 

In November, the refinery started shipping jet fuel, naphtha, and low-sulfur fuel oil after launching the first of its three crude distillation units. It aims to achieve a production capacity of 615,000 barrels per day by year-end.

Qatar experienced record exports of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), reaching a peak of 27,000 bpd in March. The trend persisted, with exports sustaining at 20,000 barrels per day in June and 19,000 barrels per day in July.

Global reach

Middle East Managing Director at Facts Global Energy, Iman Nasseri, highlighted Kuwait’s transformative role, stating, “Singapore was importing VLSFO mainly from Malaysia in 2022 but total net exports from Malaysia sharply dropped in 2023 with Singapore sourcing more VLSFO from Kuwait instead as well post-Al-Zour commissioning late 2022.” The Al Zour refinery’s contribution is set to fuel a 350,000-barrel-per-day rise in Middle East refinery operations in Q3 2023, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Read more: Kuwait to invest $300 bn in energy sector until 2040

The refinery plans to double jet fuel exports this year. This move will elevate diesel and gasoil production in the Middle East, potentially surpassing 3 million bpd. 

Additionally, Kuwait’s exports to Europe surged, reaching 410,000 bpd in June before easing to 302,000 in July. The focus lies on ultra-low sulfur diesel and jet fuel as Europe seeks alternatives to Russian imports.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp.’s Managing Director of International Marketing, Sheikh Khaled al-Sabah, disclosed a strategic shift. Rather than replacing Kuwait’s electricity production fuel, two-thirds of Al Zour’s output is meant for global markets. This redirection highlights the refinery’s expanding influence on the global energy trade.

Kuwait’s Clean Fuels Project modernized and elevated the capacity of Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries to 800,000 bpd.

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