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Kuwait has emergency plan to keep oil flowing during war

Thursday, January 23, 2003

ABU DHABI Kuwait has disclosed a plan to maintain oil production amid a U.S.-led war against Iraq.

Officials said the emergency plan calls for oil production and export in coordination with Kuwaiti allies, particularly Saudi Arabia. They said the plan is meant to guarantee exports to Kuwait's client regardless of threats to the sheikdom's oil facilities and shipping routes in the Persian Gulf.

Officials said they have imposed measures to increase security around Kuwaiti oil facilities, Middle East Newsline reported. In 1991, Iraq blew up more than 700 Kuwaiti oil wells.

"I cannot go into the details of this plan, but I can guarantee that production will continue," Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ahmed Al Fahd Al Sabah said.

"Exports will continue and production of fuel needed locally and for export will continue. And I believe we can also meet the commitments we made to our clients abroad."

The plan is also said to address the prospect that speed boats filled with explosives would try to ram into Kuwaiti oil facilities in the Persian Gulf. Officials cite Al Qaida's use of such attacks on shipping around Yemen and said air and sea patrols have been increased to guard against such a possibility.

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