By Mahmoud Bushehri
KUWAIT, Aug 25 (KUNA) -- Kuwait will mark Tuesday the 40th anniversary of establishing the Supreme Petroleum Council, a body that comprises top official decision-makers, tasked with the general strategies of the oil sector, which secures to the crude markets some three million barrels of oil per day.
The council is basically charged with preserving the State oil resources, developing the key sector to pave way for building full and integrated petroleum industries, ensuring that the sector be manned by national cadres and overseeing implementation of the production, pricing and operational policies, in line with interests of the State and people.
It was established according to an Amiri Decree on August 26, 1974, chaired at the time by the late, His Highness (the Father Amir), the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who served in the post till 1993. After amendment of the relevant Amiri Decree, the council was headed by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who was serving at the time as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
His Highness Sheikh Sabah, in his (former capacity) as the Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, had chaired the council between 2003 and 2010.
But in 2013, a new decree was issued regarding formation of the council, where it grouped ministers, technocrats and non-governmental figures, under chairmanship of the prime minister.
The council draws up the State general policies, as to supervision, exploration and drilling for crude oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbon resources, in addition to their storage and refining of the crude and its derivatives. Moreover, it supervises general strategies for marketing and transporting the crude oil, gas and by-products.
It also looks into applications for establishing new oil companies, oversees operational services, establishing, maintaining and operating plants and installations.
Furthermore, the council supervises studies and researches in all sectors related to the oil wealth, in addition to upgrading skills of the national labor.
The Supreme Petroleum Council had taken key decisions for developing the oil industries, some related to soliciting foreign companies' expertise to develop the national sector.
It had approved strategies, prepared by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary companies, stipulating establishment of the petrochemical and refining plants in addition to privatizing the fuel stations.
It had also blessed various vital ventures, such as building the aromatics plant, a second olfines plant and a new refinery with a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day.
Among its achievements is approval of the privatization program for the oil sector, expanding and upgrading the refineries. It had earmarked up to KD four billion for building the new refinery and endorsed amendment of staff payments and allowances at the KPC and its affiliates.
The council groups the foreign minister, the ministers of oil, trade and commerce, the Central Bank of Kuwait's governor and ten experts, with a three-year mandate. (end) mjb.tb.rk