Major shake-up in the Kuwaiti oil industry
Heads of KOC & Kuwait Petroleum Corporation asked to leave
The last two days have been a hectic frenzy in Kuwait with news emerging of the replacement of Farouk Al-Zanki, the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. He has been replaced with Nizar Mohammad Al-Adsani. Following the replacement, news has emerged of the departure of Sami Al-Rasheed, who was the managing director of Kuwait Oil Co (KOC), responsible for oil and gas exploration and production in the OPEC member.
The new measures in the Kuwaiti oil ministry have also removed the managing director of national refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC), Fahad Al-Adwah, a report said.
An oil sector spokesman, Sheikh Talal Al Sabah was reported as saying this had nothing to do with the K-Dow failure, but with the need to 'infuse new blood into the oil sector'.
Talk of a possible shake-up in the company owing to the $2.2 billion settlement paid to Dow Chemical for the failed K-Dow venture have been doing the rounds.
Surprisingly enough, only in the first week of May, the bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce announced that Al-Zanki received their Visionary Leadership Award for significant contributions to the vision of mutually beneficial economic partnerships between businesses in the US and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
Kuwaiti media and politicians have been fuming over the Dow payment, and have called for a detailed investigation.
Last May, the International Chamber of Commerce acting as an arbitrator granted Dow Chemical around $2.2 billion in compensation for Kuwait pulling out of the $17.4 billion venture.
In December 2008, the Kuwaiti government scrapped the deal between PIC and Dow to create a petrochemicals joint venture due to pressure from opposition MPs, citing the global financial crisis.
The government has also allegedly suspended officials at PIC, though no further details have yet emerged.