The 76th Anniversary of the first Kuwaiti Oil Shipment Abroad

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Today June 30th marks the 76th anniversary of the first Kuwaiti oil shipment abroad.

The story of oil in Kuwait began with the establishment of the Kuwait Oil Company Limited (KOC) in 1934 during the reign of the late Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and was founded by the English-Iranian Oil Company now known as the British Petroleum Company (BP) and the American Gulf Oil Company (now known as Chevron) and it was established as a private joint-stock company, and the company was granted the exclusive right to explore for oil in Kuwaiti territories.

Within two years, on December 23, 1936, a geophysical survey was conducted and the first experimental well was drilled in the Bahra oil field, but the quantities discovered were not economically feasible, and in 1938, oil was discovered in the Burgan field, which is the second-largest oil well in the world right now, which encouraged the company to develop the field and start production, but the exploration operations stopped as a result of the Second World War. After the war ended, the company exported the first shipment of Kuwaiti oil, on June 30, 1946.

The process of nationalizing the company began after the approval of the Kuwaiti National Assembly in 1974, that the Kuwaiti government owns 60% of the company’s shares, with the remaining 40% distributed equally, over the British Petroleum Company and the American Gulf Oil Company.

The Kuwait Oil Company began refining operations at the Ahmadi Refinery in 1949, the Oil Tanker Company was established in 1957, and the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) was established in 1960.

In 1975, the Kuwaiti government acquired all the assets of the Kuwait Oil Company and the management of its operations, and the company became a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation upon its establishment in 1980 so that all Kuwaiti oil operations are managed under one roof.

In 1990, a large number of the company’s facilities were destroyed and more than 700 oil wells were set on fire as a result of the Iraqi invasion of the State of Kuwait. Production was affected for a number of months after the war of liberation of Kuwait until it returned to its previous era in March 1991, thanks to the help of the people of Kuwait and with the help of many of the friendly countries, operations began to extinguish the oil wells, so that the first shipment of Kuwaiti oil was exported after the liberation.

The Kuwait Oil Company achieved a great leap in its exploration capabilities in 2005 when light oil was discovered in the Sabriya field. In the same year, the company abandoned all production operations in the divided zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in favor of the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company.


Wellhead Maintenance on BG-191, The Year 1961
Wellhead Maintenance on BG-191, The Year 1961

The 76th Anniversary of the first Kuwaiti Oil Shipment Abroad



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