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the making of a middle eastern comeback

1 min read | july 07, 2023

A marine jetty is docked at the Mina Saud terminal in Kuwait.

Chevron’s history in the Middle East is a tale of trial and perseverance.

Our trial came in 2015, when we ceased production in the Partitioned Zone (PZ) between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Saudi Arabian Chevron (SAC) had been operating jointly with Kuwait Gulf Oil Company in the area for decades, but the shutdown broke our momentum.

Production stood still for five years, but then came SAC’s comeback through a consistent focus on safe and reliable operations, ongoing investments in facilities and use of the latest technologies.

behind the scenes

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia each hold a 50% interest in the hydrocarbon resources of the PZ, and we couldn’t continue our onshore production until a memorandum of understanding between the two countries was reached.

Meantime, we worked extensively to be ready when production could resume. SAC kept employees on the payroll, maintained the integrity of critical systems and planned for future development.

“The efforts we undertook during that five-year shutdown reflected Chevron’s character as a company, as well as the character of our employees and partners,” said Peter Spangelo, SAC petroleum engineering consultant.

“Driven by a ‘win in any environment’ concept, Saudi Arabian Chevron believes that building a strong future starts with a focused, no-excuses mindset that requires employees and contractors to be proactive no matter what conditions and obstacles they confront.”

saud al-otaibi
senior earth scientist

back in business

The Saudi and Kuwait governments signed a memorandum of understanding in late 2019, giving us the go ahead to resume production, which we did in mid-2020.

Chevron’s production has since ramped back up.

SAC’s history and accomplishments were also recently highlighted during the Middle East Oil, Gas and Geosciences Show (MEOS GEO) in Bahrain. Our team continues to promote our key messages in external events by:

  • Showcasing the new technologies we’re using to more efficiently produce crude oil and natural gas, optimize our portfolio and improve returns.
  • Presenting Chevron’s lower carbon advances, which include reducing flaring and developing a lower carbon enhanced oil recovery project.

“One of the biggest things we want our stakeholders to know is that SAC is back,” Spangelo said. “We were able to leverage all the work that happened within Chevron in the past seven years to successfully emerge from the shutdown.”

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