Oman's Duqm refinery has completed its start-up processes and is operator OQ aims to begin commercial operations by year-end, it said on Thursday.

"Significant progress has been made in the project's execution, with the start-up phase of the refinery now completed, marked by the production of high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) – the first shipment of which has already been exported to the U.S.," OQ said in a written statement in response to a Reuters email.

Naphtha production has also been achieved, OQ added.

Around 95,000 metric tons of HSFO shipped from Duqm is heading to Corpus Christi, Texas, Kpler ship tracking data showed.

"Additionally, Omani and Kuwaiti crude oil has been successfully shipped to Ras Markaz and subsequently pumped to the refinery complex in Duqm via pipelines."

The refinery's construction is more than 98% completed, with 65% of the commissioning process done, OQ said.

The Duqm refinery is a 50:50 joint venture between OQ Group and Kuwait Petroleum International.

(Reporting by Trixie Yap in Singapore and Maha El Dahan in Dubai; editing by Jason Neely)