Kuwait oil installation insurance premiums sharply hiked

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Kuwait oil installation insurance premiums sharply hiked: press

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - - International insurance firms have raised premiums on Kuwait's oil installations by between 200 to 300 percent following two refinery blasts that left eight people dead. The Al-Qabas newspaper quoted an unnamed senior insurance official as saying the blast at Al-Ahmadi refinery, which killed six people and injured 50 others, sparked the increase.

Accidents in the oil sector were happening at a faster pace "which reflects weakness and inadequacy in safety conditions," the official said.

The official estimated the total value of insured oil facilities at was unchanged at 2.9 billion dinars (9.4 billion dollars), while the annual premium before the increases was 2.5 million dinars (8.1 million dollars).

Al-Ahmadi refinery, which has a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd), representing half of Kuwait's refined oil exports, has been completely shut down for damage assessment following the June 25 explosion.

A week earlier, a gas leak at Shuaiba refinery killed two Kuwaiti oil workers and injured four others.

The paper estimated losses from halting operations at between 800 million and 1 billion dollars, adding that the emirate was exporting crude oil instead of refined products to reach its OPEC quota of 2.101 million bpd.

About 40 percent of the emirate's oil exports are in the form of refined products from three refineries with a total capacity of 900,000 bpd.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 26, 2000

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