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05KUWAIT4229 2005-09-28 11:07:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
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1. (SBU) During a September 20 meeting with Kuwait Petroleum
Corporation (KPC) CEO Hani Hussain, the Ambassador asked
about Kuwait's plans to explore investment in new refinery
capacity in the U.S. He raised the Kuwaiti - U.S. refinery
cooperation mentioned in recent U.S. newspaper articles (The
Houston Chronicle). Ambassador noted U.S. refinery needs and
asked if the news reports accurately reflected a GOK
proposal. Hussain said that the GOK is prepared to look at
it, but has "nothing specific now to offer." He added that
just as the GOK recognizes the need for more refining
capacity in the U.S., it also recognizes the significant
costs associated with building refineries. In this "tough
business," Hussain said that the GOK would not want to go it
alone and that a partner would be needed, "like Chevron or
ExxonMobil." Ambassador suggested that this issue be
discussed further during a possible Secretary of Energy visit
to Kuwait in November.

2. (SBU) In a follow up conversation on September 27,
Hussain told the Ambassador that nothing concrete had been
decided yet regarding Kuwait's involvement in the U.S.
refining sector. He said that the GOK's main concern was to
have the participation of a "major player" in the U.S. to run
any refinery project efficiently, clearly indicating that KPC
itself would not want to operate a refinery project directly.
He said that "some people" have talked to KPC on a
commercial basis, but they are waiting to see what is the
best opportunity, and that none of the major companies had
been in touch with KPC.

3. (SBU) General Manager of Chevron in Kuwait Hani Iskander
told Econ Officer on September 27 that some of his employees
working in the downstream sector in Kuwait have been
approached by employees of the Kuwait National Petroleum
Company (KNPC, a subsidiary of KPC) about Chevron's interest
in participating in a refinery project in the U.S. He said
that the inquiries have been very preliminary and that he
imagines they are being initiated at the urging of KPC. He
will provide further details to Post as they become
available. President of ExxonMobil Kuwait John Hoholick told
Econ Officer September 28 that he was not aware of any
approach by KPC to his company either here or in the U.S. on
this issue.

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