Economic review

China becomes one of the biggest oil drilling contractors in Kuwait: report

2017-07-17 09:25:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times

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The huge amount of Chinese-made oil equipment imported by Kuwait shows the country's support for Chinese manufacturers in the field and breaks the monopoly of US and Europe in the Middle East oil sector, the People's Daily reported on Sunday.

As of end of the first quarter, Chinese enterprises had won contracts for 64 projects in Kuwait, covering such sectors as oil field services and exploration, infrastructure and telecommunications, with total value of $13.7 billion.

New contracts reached $3.01 billion in the oil drilling sector in the first quarter, becoming landmark projects in China-Kuwait cooperation, the report said.

Kuwait has so far bought Chinese-made rig equipment worth more than 4.3 billion yuan ($635 million), it noted.

Entering the Kuwait market in 2008, Zhang Congbang, manager of the Kuwait subsidiary of Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corp (SIPSC), said his team has transformed the Chinese enterprise's image and become the biggest rig contractor in Kuwait.

"When we arrived, the Kuwait side didn't show much interest in us and worried whether Chinese companies could complete projects with an expected high level of quality," Zhang was quoted as telling the People's Daily.

To break the monopoly of the US and Europe in the rig market in the Middle East, Zhang and his team worked with domestic manufacturers to understand the technological aspects required, helping them establish an internationalized quality system.

The team also engaged with executives of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) to introduce the technological index and data of domestic equipment, and they invited the Kuwait side to inspect Chinese factories and learn the standard of "made in China".

"KPC agreed to use some Chinese rig equipment on a trial basis. Finally, the first-rate quality and reasonable price of domestic products won recognition from Kuwait," Zhang was quoted as saying in the report.

The Kuwait subsidiary of SIPSC signed a big rig agreement worth $1.15 billion in 2014 when the international oil price slumped, rising to become the biggest rig contractor in Kuwait.

At present, the company owns 53 drilling rigs, taking up more than 45 percent of the Kuwait market, according to the report.