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Kuwait to Boost Oil Production Despite Strikes

Kuwait is planning to increase its oil production despite an ongoing strike by Kuwaiti oil workers. The Kuwaiti government said that it would sue, what it described as, instigators of a strike by thousands of workers over the proposed public sector reforms, which will impact workers’ benefits. The government says that legal action is necessary as the ongoing strike is harming the national interest. Kuwait’s oil minister, Anas al-Saleh, however, assured that the reforms would not have an impact on workers’ basic rights, gratuity and additional benefits.

Although there were fewer protesters yesterday (18 April) than on Sunday, the workers of the Kuwait Oil Company are determined and convinced of what they do. Some employees reminded that workers had a legal right to strike and emphasized that those who were not participating in picketing were supportive of it but feared possible consequences. Before the strike, the country’s output was about 2.8 million bpd. Current production is 1.1 million barrels per day, which is the same as the first day of strike on Sunday (17 April), but it would go up to normal levels in coming levels.

“We have several alternative plans – today some of the staff returned to their places of work. Partner companies are participating in the increase in production. The situation is reassuring,” Khaled al-Asousi, KNPC’s Deputy Chief Executive for Support Services, said. Mr al-Asousi added that his company expected “a big increase in crude inventory in the coming days and we have enough stocks for export and we have no fears of a stoppage of any shipment”. He also added that “supplies of petroleum derivatives for the local market are enough for a whole month.”

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