Technical Support, Consultation, and Research
Providing Resources and Expertise
Improving Oil Recovery
Enhancing Petroleum Refining Flexibility

Improving and Upgrading Heavy-Oil Production


In light of the changing petroleum feedstock and tighter fuel regulations in the world, where there is an increased production of ultraheavy crude oil, Kuwait refineries face the challenge of increasing the conversion of the feedstock of liquid hydrocarbon resources into clean transportation fuels, which requires a variety of mostly hydroprocessing catalysts and processes that need to be customized to meet the demands of Kuwaiti feedstock.


The Optimization of Petroleum Refinery Processes Program (ORPP) is designed to support the Kuwaiti refining industry with the challenges of dealing with heavy crude oils and the conversion of feedstock into clean fuel production through the research service for clients and innovative research in the development of novel refining technologies that minimize operation cost, energy consumption, and environmental impact, for supporting the KNPC new clean fuel project and new refining project.

Program Thrusts

  • Optimization of Hydrotreating Processes for Producing Clean Fuels: Optimize feedstock blends and reaction parameters, evaluate and combine commercial catalysts, and develop novel catalysts for deep Hydrodesulphurization and the improvement of cetane number.
  • Improvement of Hydrotreating and Conversion of Atmospheric Residue: Characterize heavy crudes at a molecular level, develop novel catalyst, optimize feedstock blends and catalyst system, improve process performance through chemical engineering approach, and develop new conversion technologies.
  • Development of Novel Non-Hydroprocessing Technologies: Provide feedstock pretreatment (deasphaltene and adsorptive denitrogenation), for enhancing hydrotreating performance, oxidative desulfurization, and post-adsorptive desulfurization.
  • Cost-effective Catalyst Management: Find ways to maximize the utilization of available catalysts and develop sustainable methods for the disposal of spent catalysts.


  • Petroleum refining pilot plant with advanced control system.
  • Petroleum evaluation facility.
  • Catalyst characterization and preparation.
  • Distillation pilot units.
  • Gas chromatography facility.