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KUWAIT - Green Economy

Anwar Al Mutlaq

VP KUWAIT & COUNTRY CHAIR, Shell

Bio

Anwar Al Mutlaq was appointed Shell’s Vice President Upstream & Country Chairman for Shell group of companies in 2020. Prior to his current role, he was the administrator for the Shell New Venture Branch in Algeria as well as government relations advisor for MENA based in the Hague. Almutlaq joined Shell in 2013 as the commercial and planning manager and played a key role to support Shell’s growth agenda in Kuwait. Before joining Shell, he was with Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) in Denmark, Spain, and China. From 1997-1999, he worked for Schlumberger as a wireline field engineer in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Almutlaq holds a degree in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an executive MBA from Instituto de Empresa.

"Shell started business in Kuwait in 1948 with trading being a major focus back then, where we traded Kuwaiti crude oil across the international markets."

Working on several Kuwaiti oil fields at the moment, Shell continues to play a key role in supporting the growth and maturity of the local oil sector.

What has been Shell’s experience in Kuwait to date?

Shell started business in Kuwait in 1948 with trading being a major focus back then, where we traded Kuwaiti crude oil across the international markets. Our partnership with Kuwait evolved over time across the oil and gas value chain. Today, we are working under an enhanced technical service agreement with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and through our licensing technology with Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). We are one of the major suppliers for liquified natural gas (LNG) that feeds Kuwait onshore LNG Terminal. We also provide LNG to Kuwait. We are privileged to be the largest IOC in country, where we support three major fields: conventional oil, heavy oil, and Jurassic gas. With these three assets, our role is to maximize value from Kuwait’s natural resources for the benefit of the country.

What technologies and strategies have you implemented in Kuwait?

Technology is a significant component of our collaboration with the K-companies, especially in the space of digitalization, water flood multi well pads, Shell Turbo Tray, process improvements amongst other areas. We have a team dedicated to technology and learning to ensure we deploy and support our partners to maximize use of technologies and knowledge transfer. We also supported KOC to launch a comprehensive Technical Competency Ladder that is being rolled out in the whole organization. We have also launched an initiative called STARS program, through which we brough into Shell several KOC colleagues to be fully embedded into the Shell organization. I must say we are proud of the local talent available in Kuwait oil sector.

What can be done to increase the oil production output in the country?

Kuwait has worked without IOCs partnership for many years and has done well. If we look around, we will see IOCs in joint ventures in many countries that have helped those countries build their capabilities. Since the 1970s, Kuwait has done well on its own and has been able to meet Kuwait’s OPEC quota. Even with market volatility, Kuwait has come through different sets of crises, COVID being one of them, and a fiscal crisis at a certain point, while staying resilient. Despite its successes, Kuwait has many opportunities that are still untapped which represent great opportunities but also challenges in fully exploiting the resource base while navigating through net zero emissions. I am also glad to see that KOC has already started to take initiative in the space of NZE, and we will continue to support them in that space

What sustainable solutions have you implemented in Kuwait?

We have done several things to support Kuwait on sustainability. We were looking on blue hydrogen, even before the country set its net-zero emissions target. We are also working on co-generation to generate power and steam to heat up heavy oil resources. We are already supporting KOC to explore carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. We are also making sure that local talent gains the experience and knowledge from working with an IOC such as Shell

What do you expect from the coming year?

We will continue to focus on the delivery of our agreements for the upstream sector in Kuwait. For us, it is about the commitment to continue delivering on the growth of oil and gas. In addition, another key priority for us next year is to look more actively at energy transition solutions, which can be deployed in the oil or non-oil sectors. With the support of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), we gained our commercial license earlier in 2022, and this set up will help us be more competitive and to enable us to support Kuwait 2035 Vision.

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