Founded back in 1934, it’s fair to say that the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is an operation with some serious heritage, as well as empirical experience of how the industry as a whole has evolved and changed over time. This in itself could be enough to set KOC apart from its nearest competitors, yet there is much more to that story, as you’ll see.


An impressive rise to fame


Having discovered commercial quantities of oil in 1938, KOC went on to become a particularly viable entity, with the Kuwait Government taking 100% control in 1975 and finally, bringing all state-owned similar operations under one KOC umbrella, but there was a huge problem on the horizon.


1990 saw the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that left many operations totally devastated, with LOC being one of them. All production and storage facilities were obliterated and while this might have been the time for lesser companies to call it a day, KOC simply saw it as the next challenge. Just months after the liberation of Kuwait in February 1991, full capacity production had resumed and organic growth was even being witnessed as well. With this in mind, it’s little wonder that the company has continued to go from strength to strength, becoming something of an industry giant.


The makings of a master


To understand exactly what KOC is so special, an overview of the everyday activities is essential. In its own words,


“Kuwait Oil Company’s Responsibilities under the KPC’s umbrella involve the exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas within the State of Kuwait. The Company is also involved in the storage of crude oil and delivery to tankers for export.”


This might sound like a relatively simple roster of operations, but the oil and gas sector has always been anything but straightforward. It takes courage, resilience and expertise to carve a niche in such a hyper-competitive market and these are qualities that every member of the KOC team has in spades. For this reason, a number of significant discoveries have been made in the history of the company, leading to the enviable market leading position that it currently enjoys, but nothing has come at the detriment of the region.


Staying true to stewardship


There’s a lot of pressure on the oil and gas industry to look into greener technologies and more sustainable operating methodologies, but KOW doesn’t align with social responsibility out of necessity. Rather, the team is active in looking for better, more progressive and inspirational ways to carry out its business. In order to focus on these endeavours effectively, concern areas have been split into four separate divisions of HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment), social responsibility, oil lakes and soil remediation,


“KOC places much emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility as it constantly seeks to ensure sustainable and balanced development. This is evident in a series of activities that the Company embarks upon to instil the CSR concept as enshrined in the KOC Strategy.”


It would be easy to wax lyrical about everything KOC has already done, but shining a light on a select few really highlights the positive impact that is being had. KOC is the first oil company in the world to create a marine colony and has also created nature reserves and oasis’, which takes care of the HSSE element, while countless community programmes, including sports and medical facilities, more than account for social responsibility. The oil lakes issue and soil remediation efforts are intrinsically linked, as both are the result of the 1990 violence, which left oil wells spilling dangerous amounts of liquid all over the landscape. Understanding that the environmental disasters needed to be deal with, KOC took full responsibility and clean up efforts are still on-going.


Tomorrow’s fuel, planned today


With a spectacular reputation already in place and some of the world’s leading experts making up the professional team, KOC is more than ready for whatever the future brings, but by embracing the fact that higher volumes of product will be at the top of the priority list, it is one step ahead of everyone else,


“Our main role is to explore, develop and produce hydrocarbons within the State of Kuwait, promote the care and development of our people and deliver on our commitments to our stakeholders in a compliant, profitable, safe and environmentally responsible manner.”


The need for evermore exploration sites will never cease, but by making safety a key priority, alongside successful drillings, KOC is ensuring not only the security of its future profits, but more importantly, its staff, who are considered to be exceptionally valuable, especially with the 2030 strategy in place,


“KOC has set very challenging and ambitious objectives for its Exploration Group as part of the 2030 strategy. The search for gas and light oil in the Jurassic and Permian plays is taking us into unconventional reservoirs with increased drilling risk through higher temperatures and pressures and the complexities of fractured carbonates. All of these projects will present us with new and complex technical, logistical and management challenges. We believe KOC can achieve extraordinary efficiencies when all disciplines are fully involved and informed throughout the exploration cycle.”


Reading between the lines, this means that exploration processes are becoming more intricate, necessitating everyone to pool their skills and expertise together to get the job done in a timely, sustainable and safe fashion,


“Various strategies with the objective of causing no harm to employees, contractors, customers, the general public or to the environment are in place. Those strategies are in line with various national and KOC Health, Safety and Environmental standards and include training of the staff, safety audits and rig site visits and emergency exercises with full commitment and awareness of every employee.”


KOC is destined to not only reach but also design new heights and standards within the oil and gas industry. Working towards the 2030 strategy will certainly maintain a steely focus and with an exceptional body of staff on-board, there is no doubt that when it comes to industry evolutions, KOC is going to remain both resilient and robust.