Despite the challenges that heavy oil poses to companies and producing countries, due to the difficulty of extracting it and the complexities that characterize its reservoirs, Kuwait Oil Company is implementing one of the largest projects “heavy oil project” in the Ratqa area in the north of the country, which is an essential part of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation 2040 Strategy.
Heavy oil was discovered for the first time in Kuwait in 1979. It took about ten years of hard work to complete the project which is considered one of the most difficult and complex projects in the history of the Kuwait Oil Company. The company’s strategy specified the production of 60 thousand barrels of heavy oil per day from the South Ratqa field as a first stage, provided that this crude is processed in the new Al-Zour refinery, to contribute to the production of low-sulfur environmental fuel and supply it to power plants in Kuwait.
The importance of the project lies in the fact that it rationally exploits the large stock of heavy oil that depends on refining and selling it locally, and this will reduce the quantities of local consumption of refined products from Kuwaiti export crude, so that they are available for export in the global market with greater financial returns.
The CEO of the Kuwait Oil Company, Engineer Emad Sultan, says that the company has operated the heavy oil project “Lower Faris” to produce 60,000 barrels per day in a critical period left by the new Corona pandemic worldwide. He added that May 22 is a distinguished day in the history of the Kuwaiti oil industry, where the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, represented by the Kuwait Oil Company and the global marketing sector, get an important achievement by exporting the first shipment of heavy crude oil to the global market.
On August 17, 2020, the CEO of Kuwait Oil company, Emad Sultan, said: “The company, in coordination with the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, managed to export 4 shipments of heavy oil at competitive prices.” He explained that for decades Kuwait was limited to producing Kuwaiti export oil, but it is now able to export two other types of crude oils, namely high-quality light oil and Kuwaiti heavy oil, which allows the country great flexibility in marketing these types according to the global market requirements.
Sultan added, “The Kuwait Oil Company, in cooperation with the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, has achieved many successes at various levels recently, including the impressive successes it has achieved in producing free gas and achieving the target numbers last year, which contributed to meeting the needs of the local market of gas despite the reduction in oil production in line with the recent “OPEC” agreement.