Kuwait: Free-trade project confirmed in North Kuwait The Foreign Minister of Amiri Diwan, Sheikh Naser Sabah Al Ahmed, reaffirmed the intention of the Emir’s cabinet to implement the development projects on Kuwait’s five major islands within the multi-year "New Kuwait 2035" project.
The plan, which is to be integrated with the “City of Silk” project in Subiya, aims to transform the north of Kuwait into an international free trade zone that is expected to benefit from the ongoing construction of the Sheikh Jaber Causeway cable-stayed bridge that will connect the capital to the northern region of the emirate and to the new Mubarak Al Kabeer port. This commercial port project is being developed on Boudyan, Kuwait’s largest 860 km2 island in North-West Kuwait, situated in a strategic position between Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. The port is planned to provide easy access to Umm Qasr and will also serve to also connect Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia through a railway connection project.
The international free zone development plan hosting the “City of Silk” will include the islands of Boubyan, Failaka, Warba, Maskan and Ohaa and will benefit from a special regulatory framework that, albeit maintaining it under the sovereignty of the State of Kuwait, is envisaged to have great administrative, management and planning autonomy, in line with the experience acquired in Hong Kong and other free trade zones. As for its relations with neighbours, the Foreign Minister confirmed that the content of the project was agreed with Iraq, underscoring the fact that the Iraqi port of Faw and the Kuwaiti port of Mubarak, on the island of Boubliyan, “will cooperate and not compete”. Iran too has been invited to participate in the project.
United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Oil Company presents a new industrial strategy
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has presented its new industrial strategy, which aims to review the current overall partnership system with large international companies in the sectors of oil & gas, oil refining and the petrochemical industry, with the capacity to optimise the performance of the Emirate’s giant oil company and assure it a broader presence in key markets, especially in Asia. The new strategy includes a much larger number of co-investments in the Emirates as well as in the other areas in which the company operates, choosing the partner on the basis of strict criteria, including the possibility of assuring ADNOC products quicker access to priority markets; the intention to contribute, also through technical know-how, to co-develop new technologies; the capacity to share the investment risk. In exchange, ADNOC said it was ready to assure innovative, attractive and stable investment opportunities. In the upstream industry, the new strategy aims to substantially increase extraction, even if at lower costs, through massive reliance on "Enhanced Oil Recovery" technologies. In the downstream industry, ADNOC aims to increase the margin of every barrel of oil and expand the petrochemical production from 4.5 to 11.4 million tons per year: generally speaking, in the years to come, the company’s investments are destined to significantly shift from the upstream industry, its battle horse during the past 45 years, to the downstream industry, and especially refining. As for the gas sector, ADNOC aims to more massively and effectively exploit national reserves, especially the "deep and sour" gas fields. An estimated investment of almost 20 billion dollars will go to develop the Hail, Ghasha, Delma, Nasr and Shuwaihat fields, increase the output of the Shah field, start exploration of the Bab and Buhasa "sour gas" fields. The Company will also rely more on innovative "Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage" technologies, replacing natural gas with C02 with the use of Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques.