KPC official: Kuwaiti global oil sales score achievements despite pandemic

Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Jamal Al-Loughani.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has been able to overcome a number of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic in order to ensure the uninterrupted continuity of its business thanks to digital platforms, Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing Jamal Al-Loughani said. All of the state oil firms’ departments have been operating remotely, including marketing and sales, finances and human resources, while ensuring the quality of services and technical support provided to customers. Adjustments required by employees to adapt to the newly-introduced work system have also been completed, the company’s senior employee said in an exclusive interview.

Internal communication has been facilitated by VPN and virtual programs, such as Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, for their ease of use and compatibility with most modern devices and their importance in fortifying networks and employee information from eavesdropping and hacking attempts. Meanwhile, oil sector officials and employees have resorted to audiovisual meetings for their daily communication to follow up on work progress. This has helped in strengthening the spirit of cooperation between employees and enabling them to adapt to the new nature of their work surroundings until the time they return to their offices, he explained.

Int’l meetings
Communication between the global marketing and finance departments for export shipment information and purchase orders and the issuing of invoices to customers have also been conducted online, immediately and without delay. Company representatives have been able to actively participate with the Kuwaiti oil minister and the OPEC governor at more than 10 OPEC remotely-held meetings.

One of the most important meetings of the global oil-producing cartel, on April 10, led to the historic agreement to reduce global oil production. Contractual meetings held remotely have culminated in the renewal of approximately 15 sales contracts for crude, derivatives, fuel, naphtha, liquefied gas, petrol and other products and the preparation of around 30 procurement contracts, including the discussion of terms and conditions.

The international marketing sector managed to determine the pricing of Kuwaiti crude and various petroleum products, such as naphtha, sulfur, petroleum coke, diesel and jet fuel, and is set to initiate contracts with some 12 companies for the trade and purchase of products with the renewal of contracts for others.

With respect of pricing orders for petroleum by-products, Loughani said there had been 282 of such orders for naphtha, fuel, liquefied gas, 208 pricing orders for shipments of the crude oil and 138 others for shipments of medium by-products, 21 pricing orders for shipments of fuel oil, sulfur and petroleum coal. Elaborating, he said that 23 addresses had been issued for collecting the corporation revenues – without any delay.

Loughani also noted continuing cooperation with the customs authority to facilitate exports and imports of the oil and derivatives. Various others issues during the ongoing coronavirus crisis had been addressed namely closing the financial year 2019-2020 regarding global marketing and drafting the projected budget for the financial year 2021-2022 for global markets.

These tasks would not have been accomplished without efforts of the enthusiastic young Kuwait personnel who worked round the clock for securing sales, exports of the Kuwaiti crude, petroleum products for sake of boosting the KPC role and ensuring financial inflows for the state. He lauded unlimited support from the corporation higher management that tackled all hurdles and enabled the staff work from long distance.

Adapting to change
The KPC had grappled to adapt itself to the changing work methods in the shadow of the coronavirus, Loughani said, noting that the management had immediately instructed the personnel to evacuate offices and pursue work via the internet from their houses. The personnel have pursued the tasks using state-of-the-art digital technology; provided by the KPC IT department. The KPC marketing sector “faced no challenges” while shifting to online work, he said, affirming that it keenly secured communications with clients as well as with the KPC offices abroad without interruption.

In the shadow of the falling oil prices and changes in supply and demand in the international markets, staff of the international market sector had continued performing their tasks in full, while doubling their efforts to meet needs of the clients in the shadow of the drastic fluctuations that happened in the oil and gas markets, Loughani continued. The sector’s department of marketing research had engaged in dialogue with mega companies for oil pricing seeking to review the prices when the barrel of oil dropped to 37 dollars in April. Such efforts by the KPC ended with success and prompted these companies to examine recommendations for amending the oil pricing mechanism in the future. – KUNA