Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is planning to boost its crude processing capacity with heavy grades of oil at its three refineries.

Speaking at the ongoing CERAWeek by S&P Global, an energy conference in Houston, Sheikh Nawaf Al Sabah, Deputy Chairman and CEO of KPC, highlighted the state-owned company’s plans to mark up crude capacity at its Al Zour refinery complex in the south of Kuwait, which came online in Q4 last year and has the capacity to process 615,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The CEO said the idea behind this was to maximise exports of the more profitable lighter crude.

“Al Zour is running as much heavy oil as possible,” Sheikh Nawaf said at the conference. “What we are trying to do is maximise as much heavy oil into that refinery as possible since they get a lower netback in the market.”

The refineries currently process 1.4 million barrels of crude daily and expect to raise rates to 1.6 million barrels “soon”, he said, adding: “Our barrels will be the most desired because of their low-cost production and low carbon intensity.”

Al Sabah also spoke of KPC’s plans to increase its production capacity to 4 million bpd by 2035 from its current 3 million bpd, saying that it was “because we see demand increasing throughout this energy transition.”

KPC is also pursuing offshore drilling to boost its production capacity.

In December 2023, the company had revealed plans to borrow KD 14 billion ($45 billion) in the coming five years to meet its strategic long-term investment plans mainly for exploration, and for developing and enhancing old crude oil fields.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)