Joint activities with Japan Petroleum Institute (JPI) and Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum (JCCP) have benefited Kuwaiti oil companies, and enhanced the technical and scientific capabilities of the sector, Executive Director of Kuwait's Petroleum Research Center (PRC), Dr. Meena Marafi said.
Cooperation with the two Japanese institutions includes joint research projects to develop solutions to the problems of the Kuwaiti petroleum sector, Marafi told the opening of the 16th Japanese-Kuwaiti symposium that kicked off here today to discuss the development of oil refining operations.
Marafi addressed the event on behalf of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Director General Naji Al-Mutairi.
KISR and PRC receive Japanese scientists and in the meantime provide internships for the Institute's staff at the research centers in Japan, where they benefit on the scientific level and exchange views on the key issues relevant to the Kuwaiti oil industry, she said.
The symposium comprises 18 lectures, two of them on the problem of erosion and the use of catalysts.
The Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is taking part in the two-day event , along with KISR and Japan's JPI and JCCP.
Discussions will review the problems of the KNPC refineries in a bid to develop the best possible solutions, Marafi said, commending bilateral cooperation in the field.
Kuwait ranks fourth on the list of oil exporters to Japan, Commercial Attachأ© at the Japanese embassy in Kuwait, Shigeru Yamamoto told the gathering. He added that his country relies on some Middle Eastern countries to provide up to 80 percent of its oil.
Yamamoto underlined the dire need to develop fresh techniques for oil refining, to overcome several problems, with air pollution on top.
JPI President Professor Wataru UEDA also addressed the symposium highlighting the outcome of the technical and scientific cooperation with Kuwait, through joint research projects, exchange of experts and training and organizing conferences on oil refining and processing.
He expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for donating five million barrels of oil, worth USD 500 million, to Japan in the aftermath of the destructive quake that hit the country in 2011.