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

Most Significant Petroleum Historical Events

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First discovery of Oil in Kuwait was made in the 1930s.
In the 1960s the discovery of large oil fields such as the Burgan Field, lead to a large influx of foreign investment in Kuwait, and with the massive growth in the petroleum industry, it lead Kuwait to becoming one of the richest countries in the Arabian Peninsula.

It became the largest exporter of Oil throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
After gaining its independence in 1961, and upon settling its boundary disputes with Saud Arabia, the Kuwaiti government nationalized the Kuwait Oil Company after breaking off its partnership with Gulf oil and British Petroleum.

Today, Kuwait’s oil industry, is supervised by the Ministry of Oil, and controlled by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC):

  • Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) carries out exploration and crude production.
  • Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) manages refineries and domestic marketing.
  • Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) undertakes transportation.
  • Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC) produces petrochemicals.
  • Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec) handles exploration of oil overseas.
  • Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) manages downstream operations in Europe.
  • Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company supplies fuel to aircrafts that use the Kuwait International Airport.
  • Sante Fe International Corporation provides expertise in exploration, drilling, pipelines, etc. Sante Fe’s wholly-owned subsidiary, C.F. Braun & Company, provides refinery engineering services.

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