The Associated Press reports that a
senior Kuwaiti official said, BP PLC is interested in teaming up with Kuwait in
a planned $9 billion joint venture refinery project in southern China. Hussein
Ismail, president of the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum International, told the
official Kuwait News Agency that "preliminary talks" with the British
oil giant have begun and that BP was evaluating the 300,000 barrel per day
facility''s site in southern China''s Guangdong province. KPI, a subsidiary of
the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp., will co-own the plant with China
Petroleum & Chemical Corp. Kuwait will retain a 30-percent stake while the
Chinese refinery, also known as Sinopec, will hold a 50-percent interest.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Al Abdullah Al Sabah has said U.S. giant Dow
Chemical Co. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC will each take a 10-percent stake in the
venture which is seen as key to Kuwait realizing its goal of exporting 500,000
barrels per day of oil by 2015 to the energy hungry Asian giant. In the KUNA
report, Ismail described the two companies as "potential partners,"
adding that the final decision will come when Chinese authorities approve the
location of the plant, which also includes an ethylene cracker unit with a 1
million ton annual capacity. China and Kuwait, which sits atop roughly 10
percent of the world proven crude reserves, signed the refinery deal in May,
ending years of delays linked to disputes over the project''s location. The
refinery was initially planned for the southern city of Guangzhou, but China
wanted it moved elsewhere for environmental reasons. Ismail said a feasibility
study for the new site could be completed by the end of the year, and work on
the refinery could begin by March.