Kuwait’s oil minister said on Tuesday he expected oil prices to continue rising, predicting gains in the final quarter of 2015 on the back of global growth.
“All indicators point to an improvement in prices … today we have reached the stage where a fall is difficult, a fall has now become unlikely,” Ali Saleh Al Omair told reporters.
Al Omair also said costs for the country’s Al Zour refinery were expected to increase by around 1 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($3.31 billion) pushing up total cost to more than 5 billion dinars.
A Kuwait National Petroleum Company spokesman had said on Monday the start-up of the refinery would be delayed as the company was seeking more financing on the back of rising construction costs.
The 615,000 barrel per day oil refinery, originally planned more than a decade ago, would be the biggest in the Middle East, but the project has been repeatedly delayed by bureaucratic and political issues, including tensions between Kuwait’s parliament and cabinet.
Omair also confirmed that the board of state-owned energy giant, Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) had been expanded to include a total of 15 members and that a board meeting had taken place earlier on Tuesday.
The board previously had nine members. Sources told Reuters last week several changes were under consideration for the KPC board and that expanding members was one of them.