Kuwait government reaches a deal over oil projects

13 September 2009

Parliamentary committee to approve major oil and gas projects

Kuwait’s government has reached a deal with members of the country’s national assembly that will see a new parliamentary approving oil and gas deals to avoid later controversy the country’s minister for oil said on 12 September.

“There is an agreement between the budgets committee at the national assembly and me that we [the government] will present oil projects as part of consultations between the two authorities and that there should be prior notice about these projects,” state media Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah told Kuwaiti state media.

The exact details of the deal are yet to be released, and Kuwait’s ministry of oil declined to comment when contacted by MEED.

Major oil and gas projects have been a bone of contention between Kuwait’s cabinet, which is picked by the ruling emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, and its notoriously combatative parliament.

In March, the country’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) ordered the cancellation of contracts awarded for the construction of a new $15bn refinery at al-Zour after sustained pressure from parliamentarians (MEED 16:3:09).

In August, senior executives at international oil companies told MEED that political interference made major deals unlikely before 2010 (MEED 28:8:09).

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