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Kuwait Petroleum Replaces Units’ Chiefs After Dow Compensation

Kuwait, the third-biggest producer in OPEC, replaced senior executives of its state oil industry in an infusion of “fresh blood” after the government paid $2.19 billion in compensation for a cancelled joint venture.

The appointments include Hashem Hashem as managing director of Kuwait Oil Co., the state producer; Asaad Al-Saad as managing director of Petrochemical Industries Co.; and Mohammed Al-Mutairi as managing director of Kuwait National Petroleum Co., the state refiner, Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said today in a statement.

The changes follow Kuwait’s payment of $2.19 billion to Dow Chemical Co., a step that prompted an extraordinary cabinet meeting on May 16 to discuss “massive losses resulting from this decision,” according to a statement released after the session. The government said that day that it reorganized KPC’s board, installing Nizar Al-Adsani as chief executive officer to replace Farouk Al-Zanki. Unidentified “leading officials” at Petrochemical Industries were also suspended, the cabinet said in that day’s statement.

Dow Chemical said May 7 it received $2.19 billion from Petrochemical Industries as compensation for the cancellation of a joint venture more than four years ago. The latest appointments aren’t linked to the Dow issue and are expected to help KPC deal with “current and future challenges” and improve performance, the company said today. Kuwait pumped 2.9 million barrels a day of crude oil in April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and it ranks behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Today’s announcement also named Ahmad Behbehani as managing director of Kuwait Oil Tanker Co., Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah as managing director of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co., Bakhit Al-Rashidi as managing director of Kuwait Petroleum International and Ali Al-Shimmari as managing director of Kuwait Gulf Oil Co.

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