Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas
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Kuwait is a major oil supplier and a member of the OPEC consortium. Oil accounts around 95% of exports, and approximately 90% of government export revenue. Kuwait holds approximately 7% of global oil reserves and has a current production capacity of about 3.15 million barrels per day.

The country’s oil sector is run by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), a state-owned enterprise. KPC has several companies operating beneath it which are collectively known as the “K companies”. Upstream operations are primarily done by Kuwait Oil Company. Downstream operations are done by Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is the largest state-owned oil company in Kuwait by revenue and responsible for oil production.

Table: List of the Subsidiary “K” Companies within the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)

Name of State-Owned Company in Oil Sector


Upstream Subsidiaries Responsible for Exploration and Production

Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)

Responsible for exploration and production of oil and gas within Kuwait. It is the largest state-owned oil company by revenue.

Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC)

Responsible for the onshore/offshore operations of Kuwait’s 50 percent share of the Partitioned Neutral Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC)

Responsible for oil and gas exploration and production activities outside of Kuwait.

Downstream Subsidiaries Responsible for Refining and Transportation

Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)

Responsible for refining, liquefied gas operations and for the marketing of petroleum products within Kuwait.

Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC)

Responsible for operating and managing an integrated complex for refining, manufacturing petrochemicals, and importing natural gas at the Al-Zour complex in Kuwait.

Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC)

Responsible for manufacturing and marketing petrochemical products including the $2 billion dollar EQUATE petrochemical joint venture project with Dow Chemical.

Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC)

Responsible for the transport of crude oil, refined products and liquified petroleum gas.

Kuwait Petroleum International Limited (KPI)

Responsible for refining and marketing operations outside Kuwait, primarily in Europe and Southeast Asia.

The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) announced its intention to increase oil production capacity to 4.75 million barrels per day (mmb/d) by 2040. In addition, KPC has announced intentions to increase natural gas production to 4 billion cubic feet per day by 2030. Future production increases will depend on actual implementation of several upstream projects including the development of heavy oil capacity of 60 thousand barrels per day. Kuwait is planning to spend $44 billion dollars on oil production, exploration and other projects through 2025. The investments are part of a 5-year plan approved in 2021 and envisages total spending of $66.6 billion dollars and borrowing $19.8 billion dollars by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), which manages the Kuwait’s hydrocarbon sector. Kuwait has also allocated about tens of billions of dollars to implement oil and gas projects beyond 2025. 

The mega-project “Clean Fuels Project,” which upgraded and expanded the Mina Abdulla and Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery complexes, was completed in November 2021, with current production at 410,000 barrels per day and expected to reach maximum capacity of 615,000 barrels per day by end of 2023.   KNPC awarded four packages in 2015 to build the country’s fourth refinery, which will produce low-sulfur fuel oil for the country’s power plants. The $30 billion Al-Zour Refinery was established under the Kuwait Integrated Petrochemical Industries Company and became fully operational in 2023. The complex is anticipated to combine the Al-Zour Refinery with the planned $10 billion Petrochemicals Complex (project cost: $10 billion) and a $4 billion gas import facility which was completed in November 2021.

U.S. oil companies, manufacturers, and suppliers of oil field equipment have a strong presence in the Kuwaiti market and are viewed very favorably.  However, during the global pandemic, low oil prices made Kuwait price sensitive and looked for lower-cost suppliers from Asia.


Although Kuwait does not allow private sector investment in the upstream oil market, the oil and gas sector will continue to be a leading sector for U.S. businesses.

Best prospects in this sector include: consulting services; Front End engineering Design (FEED), Project Management Consultancy (PMC): Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services; refining technologies; environment consultants; control and instrumentation systems; and secondary recovery systems. The demand for drilling services and equipment should be strong due to Kuwait’s goal of increasing its oil and gas production capacity over the next ten years by developing heavy oil fields and offshore production. A pipeline is also planned as well as other petrochemical production facilities.

The Digitalization of Kuwait’s Oil Fields

The Kuwait Oil Company, the largest state-owned “K-Company” company is in charge of oil exploration and production and has earmarked funds to digitally transform its oil infrastructure to meet its goals of optimizing costs and enhancing operational workflows.

U.S. companies that specialize in advanced solutions for monitoring oil production including cloud platforms, real-time monitoring, workflow improvement, and cybersecurity capabilities have market potential, provided their technology is proven, and the company is willing to go through the pre-qualification process. As a precursor to a larger project, the Kuwait Oil Company may ask selected vendors to run a pilot project on a small scale to ensure the viability of the technology in Kuwait’s harsh environment.

In addition to the pre-qualification process, U.S. companies seeking to do business in the oil sector are required to appoint a local partner.  The Commercial Service recommends finding a local partner who is well-connected and has significant experience working with the state-owned companies.

The Pre-Qualification Process

Working with state-owned oil companies requires a pre-qualification exercise using approved contractors, manufacturers and service providers. Having a local agent is not a mandatory during the prequalification stage; however, U.S. companies should have a local partner to bid on projects. The partnership can take any form of business structure. Forming a joint venture and sub-contracting are very common in the oil sector. The U.S. Commercial Service in Kuwait recommends that U.S. companies work with a strong and well-connected Kuwaiti company from the beginning to help marketing their products to end-users and to support the pre-qualification process which frequently can be lengthy and require significant effort.

U.S. companies interested in registering with Kuwait Oil Company should visit the company’s E-Business Portal: https://ebusiness.kockw.com/ to apply for an existing work/products category. The portal has detailed information about the process. Please note there is a separate pre-qualification process for each of the K-Companies.  New pre-qualification exercises are published on the portal, in the Kuwait Official Gazette (Kuwait Al-Yawm), and local and international newspapers.

The Steps to apply for Existing Categories

· Visit E-business portal: https://ebusiness.kockw.com/

· Click on “KOC Commercial Documents” on the side bar.

· In the new screen, go the Document Category and select one of the following:

· Pre-Qualification of Contractors

· Pre-Qualification of Manufacturers

· Kindly select the relevant PQ document

· Download the document and complete it.

· Submit the complete pre-qualification documents to the following address:

· Kuwait Oil Company

· Supplier Relationship Management Team

· Ahmadi, KOC New Office Complex, Building B1, Ground Floor


For additional questions on the oil and gas sector, please contact Senior Commercial Specialist Yousif Almahdi at Yousif.Almahdi@trade.gov.

Kuwait Oil Company (e-tendering)

Kuwait National Petroleum Company

Kuwait National Petroleum Company eSourcing