Kuwait to curtail oil supply for Asian buyers

01 Feb 2021

The fourth biggest oil producer in the organisation of the petroleum exporting countries (OPEC), Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), is planning to shorten its annual supply deals with some of its Asian buyers such as India and Japan to nine months this year to meet demand from its new refinery, sources told the media.

At a meeting with Indian refiners, KPC officials said the company's next oil supply contracts with Indian buyers would run between April to December rather than up to March 2022.

The proposed change in oil supply follows a decision by Iraq, OPEC's second biggest producer, to cut its oil exports to India this year to comply with OPEC quotas just as Indian refiners ramp up output to meet a demand uplift as the world's third largest crude importer emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

KPC's 615,000 barrels per day (BPD) Al-Zour refinery, the country's fourth, is due to start operating towards the end of the year, turning the nation into one of the biggest fuel producers in the region.

Indian refiners had planned to ramp up imports of Kuwaiti oil this year after Iraq cut term supplies of its Basra light grade this year.

Bharat Petroleum Corp has sought a 25% increase in its KPC supplies to 60,000 BPD with an option to buy an additional 50,000 BPD for 2021-22. The company had an option to buy 28,000 BPD in this financial year to March 31.

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Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals was another Indian refiner looking to ramp up contract volumes, seeking a 14% uplift to 40,000 BPD while raising optional purchase volumes to 15,000 BPD from 10,000 BPD in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) wants to cut its contract volume to 100,000 BPD from 120,000 BPD but plans to raise optional volumes to 50,000 from 30,000 BPD.

KPC and the refiners are still negotiating volumes under the new supply deals while a Japanese refiner is in talks over its contract's duration.

Image: Kuwait had earlier explored partnerships with India beyond oil in the wake of the global push for renewable energy.

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