Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) eye to Invest in Philippine downstream oil industry

BUSINESS: State-owned Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) is looking at the possibility of investing in the Philippine downstream oil industry, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said yesterday.

Almendras said he had been informed by the Kuwaiti ambassador to the Philippines that Q8 is interested in the local oil market but there are still no firm details on this planned investment.

“We’re trying to encourage competition, trying to diversify the market, and we’re trying to invite as many big players or other players as we can for the country. I’ve had meetings with the ambassador from Kuwait, and he’s saying that Q8, I’m not sure if they’re coming, but I said we would like to invite them if they are interested to come,” he said.

Amid the continued volatility in oil prices, he said more competition is encouraged in the industry. “The more players, the better for us,” he said.

In 2007, the Kuwaiti government had expressed interest in the Philippine downstream industry.

At present, Kuwait has exposure in upstream oil exploration with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Corp.’s KUPFEC Philippines Onshore B.V.’s minority stake at Shell Philippine Exploration B.V. (SPEX)’s Service Contract 60 in offshore Northeast Palawan.

After a period of reorganization in the late 1970s and the acquisition of foreign corporations in the 1980s, Kuwait’s oil industry, supervised by the Ministry of Oil, is controlled today by the Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) as the overall coordinating body.

Q8 also controls a number of subsidiaries. These include Kuwait Oil Co. (KOC) which carries out exploration and crude production; Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC) manages refineries and domestic marketing; Kuwait Oil Tanker Co. (KOTC) undertakes transportation; Petrochemicals Industries Co. (PIC) produces petrochemicals; and KUFPEC handles exploration of oil overseas.

Q8 manages downstream operations in Europe; Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Co. supplies fuel to aircraft that use Kuwait International Airport ; and Sante Fe International Corp. provides expertise in exploration, drilling and pipelines. Sante Fe’s wholly-owned subsidiary, C.F. Braun & Co., provides refinery engineering services.

KUFPEC is the only company in the Arabian Gulf to carry out drilling, development and production operations in foreign countries. It operates in eight countries: Australia , China , Egypt , Indonesia , Pakistan , Sudan , Tunisia and Yemen .

As a member of OPEC, Kuwait owns about 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Its reserves of 96.5 billion barrels are expected to last more than 100 years.


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