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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 01/04/2012

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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait Petroleum Corp.'s (KPC) long-range strategy is premised on completing a project for producing environmentally-compliant fuel and another involving the construction of a new oil refinery, said the company's CEO Farouq al-Zanki, in a press statement on Saturday.

KPC, he affirmed, was undergoing an ambitious plan to explore a multitude of locations in search of natural gas, to be subsequently used in the company's petrochemical projects. Al-Zanki was speaking marking the occasion of KPC's sponsorship of a conference themed Gulf Petroleum, organized by the Investors Group and slated for April 9.

He noted that KPC's subsidiary - KNPC - was actively contemplating the consolidation of its refinery sector, so as to complement its petrochemical operations, in a bid to integrate both sectors. Moreover, while KPC has been successful at exploring new oil finds that have tremendously augmented national oil reserves, it has ramped up oil production with great aplomb to surpass three million barrels a day, he said. He added that in keeping with KPC's penchant for applying renewable energy technologies for enhancing its production capabilities, the company has commissioned Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) to run feasibility studies on the technical and economic benefits of using solar energy in the oil industry.

The joint efforts of KPC and KISR-along with contributions from two German universities set the stage for completing the first phase of these feasibility studies, which confirmed pre-conceived notions that solar energy could have an effective role in oil production. This first phase dead-lined in March 2010, and the second phase has already been started, involving experimentation with solar energy applications vis-@-vis oil production, he explained.

The second phase, he elaborated, would test using solar cells to generate electric power at fuel-dispensing stations and would also examine the use of solar energy to supply power to crude oil collection reservoirs which process crude oil as a first step before other refining processes. Currently gas is being used for that purpose.

If gas is fully supplanted with solar energy it would not only save from 20 to 50 percent of power now used to treat crude oil with, but also would cut down on the level of pollutants that result from such treatment, he pointed out.


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