(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) A top-level delegation from Kuwait's oil sector is currently visiting the Netherlands for talks with Dutch government officials and representatives of oil companies to boost cooperation between the two countries.
Kuwait has already planned steps to entrench its presence in the Netherlands. The oil-rich Gulf state is to revamp and expand its refinery in the Dutch port of Rotterdam and Kuwait Petroleum International, KPI, is to inaugurate its European headquarters at the Hague in May.
Speaking to the Kuwait news agency, KUNA, the chairman and managing director of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), Fahed Al-Ajmi, said their visit follows an invitation by the Dutch embassy in Kuwait to meet representatives of Dutch oil companies and officials from the ministry of economic affairs and innovation.
The Kuwait delegation has alreday met representatives of the Royal Dutch Shell, he said. "Many offshore companies and international oil companies have their offices in the Netherlands. Rotterdam is the most important port in Europe for oil trade. It is the number one gas hub in Europe," he said.
Later today, the Kuwait delegation will be visiting Rotterdam where the KPI, the international marketing and refining arm of KPC, has a large refinery. "We are now going to visit this facility and see it with our own eyes. We are going to develop a mega project and we discussed it with Dutch economic officials what facilities they can provide," said the top Kuwaiti oil official.
Al-Ajmi said Kuwait is embarking on building a large LNG facility to import gas. "We are now under the concept and study phase. The Dutch have an excellent experience in this sector. We want to know the technical know-how and maybe we need assistance from them." They will also be meeting the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor in Rotterdam. "We are looking forward to these important meetings," he said.
Commenting on the current global oil price, Al Ajmi said many Kuwait officials have always indicated that price of oil above one hundred US Dollars is good for both the consumer and supplier.
"Our view is that the price between USD 100 and 120, we find it reasonable, " he said.
On his part, Hussain Esmaiel, chairman and managing director of KPI, noted that the Netherlands is one of the leading importers of Kuwaiti oil and petroleum products.
"I think Kuwait and Netherlands enjoy an outstanding relationship and it goes back a long time. We through the KPI have major investments in the Netherlands like our refinery in Rotterdam. We also operate retail stations to sell fuel products like gasoline and diesel within the country," he told KUNA.
Esmaiel emphasized that "Kuwait has very good taxation treaty with the Netherlands The Hague is very well suited from many aspects. Therefore we will locate our European headquarters in the Hague in May," he decalred.
The KNPC board has taken a decision to proceed with the feed study to revamp and develop the refinery at the Europort in Rotterdam. This decision was taken ten days ago and we are now proceeding to implement this decision, noted Esmaiel.
The feed study will last one year and its results will be presented before the KNPC board for a final investment decision, he said.
"We are planning to install a new unit. Once the final investment decision is made we will be able to sustain this refinery for a long time and operate it in a profitable way," he said.
"The Netherlands is a very important strategic partner of Kuwait from all aspects. We have big investments in this country and we are hoping to expand this relationship further and further," he emphasized.
Esmaiel said the "oil price has to be at a level to enable the oil producers to invest in further capacity expansion. At the same time we as responsible producers do not want to negatively impact the growth in the world economy. I think the numbers that we are seeing now is something that both sides can live with." The ambassador of Kuwait to the Netherlands, Hafeez Mohammad Al Ajmi, hosted a dinner at his residence in honour of the visiting Kuwait delegation on Monday night.
Al Ajmi thanked the ambassador for all his support and cooperation.
"He is very energetic and active in promoting Kuwait's interests in the Netherlands. We are very happy over the support and cooperation extended by the Kuwait embassy in Holland," added Al Ajmi.
The delegation includes the executive director of Kuwait Gulf Oil company, Qasem Al-Mejadi, deputy managing director of Kuwait Oil Company Mazen Al Sardi, and the managing director of National Petroleum Services Company, Khaled Al-Safi.