State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is planning to sell loss-making assets in order to cut costs amid persistently low oil prices, according to the state-controlled news agency KUNA.

Nizar al-Adsani, the chief executive of KPC told Kuna the company is trying to sell its Europort refinery in the Netherlands and is planning to shut a fertiliser plant that is run by state-owned Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC).

The sell-off is part of a range of measures designed to lower spending.

Downstream operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is currently working on cutting spending on maintenance by up to 15 per cent, according to Mohammad Saud Al-Shammari, a maintenance manager at KNPC’s Shuaiba Refinery.

Speaking to KUNA he said that currently the company is currently carrying out projects worth $30m that will make refinery maintenance more efficient.

Out of all the Middle East oil-exporting countries Kuwait is one of the best prepared to endure a prolonged period of low oil prices.

According to the IMF it needs an average oil price of $49.40 a barrel for its budget to balance its government budget. This is substantially lower than the price of $87.20 that Saudi Arabia needs to balance its budget.