Kuwait loaded crude oil onto a supertanker, shipping data shows, despite a workers’ strike that has cut its output by 60 percent.
Supertanker BW Ulan loaded 2 million barrels of crude at the Mina al Ahmadi port and will head to Ulsan in South Korea, live ship-tracking data on Thomson Reuters Eikon shows.
Three other supertankers – Eneos Spirit, Al Salheia and Elizabeth I.A. – are anchored off the Kuwaiti port, waiting to load crude, according to the data.
Kuwait’s crude output fell to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) on Sunday, from 2.8 million bpd in March, and its refinery output was cut by 45 percent, after thousands of workers went on strike.
Buyers in Asia, where the bulk of Kuwaiti crude is shipped to, remained cautious, watching for any sign of loading delays.
The outage pushed up prompt Brent and Dubai monthly spreads on Monday, and analysts expected the refinery run cuts to tighten product supplies and reduce fuel exports.
Kuwait plans to boost crude oil production back to normal levels in “coming days”, an official from state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) was quoted as saying on Monday.
Khaled al-Asousi, KNPC’s deputy chief executive for support services, told Dubai-based al-Arabiya television that the company expects a big increase in crude inventory in the coming days and it has enough stocks for export.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)