Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:13AM
The photo shows the fire which broke out at Kuwait's Shuaiba oil refinery on August 17, 2015.
The photo shows the fire which broke out at Kuwait's Shuaiba oil refinery on August 17, 2015.
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A conflagration has engulfed Kuwait’s Shuaiba oil refinery, forcing the strategic facility to stop operations, according to the country's oil authorities.

An official at state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has confirmed that Monday's fire led to the total shutdown of the Shuaiba facility, but said the incident had no casualties.

Kuwait’s official KUNA agency quoted Ahmed al-Jemaz, the acting chief executive of the KNPC, as saying that the fire broke out in the heavy oil unit of the refinery. Jemaz said all employees were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

No official statement has been issued on the potential cause of the incident while the KNPC officials were tightlipped on when the refinery would resume operations again. 

The smallest of Kuwait’s three major oil installations, Shuaiba yields a fifth of the country's daily oil production of about 930,000 barrels. Kuwait is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC). 

Kuwait has been actively working to expand its refining capacity with recent reports suggesting that the emirate has granted contracts to major international consortiums for the construction of a 615,000-bpd facility. The contracts, worth USD 12 billion, also include upgrades for two other major refineries.