KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait — The Shuaiba refinery south of the Kuwaiti capital was closed Monday after a fire in which no one was injured, official news agency KUNA said. The refinery is the third-largest in the country.
The closure was a precautionary measure, Ahmed al-Jimaz, an official at the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, told KUNA. All the refinery's employees were evacuated unharmed, he said. The cause of the fire was not known and it was not immediately clear when the refinery would re-open.
The refinery, which has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), is soon to close for good after upgrades of the oil-rich country's two other refineries and the construction of a new one.
At the end of July, Kuwait announced that it had awarded four contracts worth a combined $11.5 billion to international consortiums for the construction of a 615,000 bpd oil refinery. Last year, Kuwait awarded tenders for a project worth $12 billion to upgrade the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah refineries.
When that work is completed by around 2018 and the new refinery is built, Kuwait's refining capacity will increase from the current 930,000 bpd to 1.4 million bpd.
Kuwait is home to about 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and is pumping 2.8 million bpd.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015