Kuwaiti Oil Refinery Blast 'not Terrorism'
Category: Kuwait Local News

A fire at Kuwait’s 200,000 barrel-per-day Shuaiba oil refinery on Monday that led to its total shutdown was not the result of a terrorist act, the country’s spokesperson for the oil industry said in a statement.

Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah said any talk of a link to terrorism was, “completely devoid of any truth”, despite the cause of the fire still being under investigation.

The fire led to the refinery’s total shutdown but there were no casualties, according to Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).

KNPC acting chief executive Ahmed Al Jemaz said in a statement on the company’s Twitter account that a fire at the heavy oil cracking unit at Kuwait’s smallest refinery had been brought under control.

“No injuries were recorded so far. All the refinery’s units have been shut down and all employees were evacuated as a precautionary measure,” Jemaz said.

A KNPC source said because of refined products in storage, the country’s exports deals would not be affected by the shutdown. It was too early to say when Shuaiba would be back to full operations and authorities would investigate the cause of the fire, the source told AFP.

However, a senior KNPC official told Reuters on Tuesday the refinery would restart "within days".

An OPEC member, Kuwait has three refineries with a combined capacity of 930,000 barrels per day.

The ageing coastal Shuaiba refinery in southern Kuwait, commissioned in 1968, is due to be mothballed after the new 615,000-bpd Al Zour refinery comes on line by 2019.

Shuaiba refinery produces light, medium and heavy products, including gas, ordinary naphtha, gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil and diesel.

Shuaiba produces around 2 million tons of gasoil and another 2 million tons of jet fuel, another industry source told AFP, adding that while he did not expect much impact on gasoil exports, supplies of jet fuel could be disrupted.

20 Aug, 2015 0 972
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