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Kuwait appoints oil minister

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, May 9 -- Kuwait has named Mohammad Al-Busairi, former communications minister, as the country’s oil minister. Al-Busairi succeeds Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, a member of the country’s ruling family.

In the new Kuwaiti cabinet, Al-Busairi will oversee a sector that plans to spend more than $90 billion over the next 5 years to in an effort to modernize systems, increase production, and begin projects that have been delayed for several years due to political disputes.

Kuwait’s parliament has stopped one project to build a 615,000-b/d refinery and a second project aimed at upgrading two of the three existing refineries at a cost of more than $30 billion.

The two projects were delayed after opposition MPs alleged irregularities in the awarding process of the two ventures. The projects are now awaiting a green light from the country Supreme Petroleum Council, which has not met for several months.

Al-Busairi also is expected to fill key posts in the oil sector that have remained vacant for nearly 8 months.

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