GCC countries' refining capacity to rise 45% by 2010

The total refining capacity of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries is expected to rise by 45.5% in 2010—to 6.3 million b/d from 4.33 million b/d, according to a report by the Emirates Industrial Bank.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10 -- The total refining capacity of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is expected to increase by 45.5% in 2010—to 6.3 million b/d from 4.33 million b/d, according to a report by the Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB).

"The potential increase is a result of four new refineries planned in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman, as well as of renovating old refineries and increasing their production capacity in the UAE and Kuwait," it said.

EIB noted that while the GCC's oil production currently comprises 19% of world output, the current capacity of the group's 20 existing refineries constitutes just 5% of the world's overall refining capacity of 85.4 million b/d.

The report blamed the lack of refining capacity around the world for the reduced supply of products and their consequent high costs. "The rise in the cost of oil refining and the closure of 15 refineries in the world have led to a shortage in oil products…in the past 3 years," it explained.

"The rise in oil refining capacity in some countries has contributed to curbing this gap, which eventually helped in curbing oil prices and creating huge inflation rates in world countries, including oil producing and exporting countries," EIB said.

GCC member countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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