Since its incorporation, the company Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) engaged in different activities of the oil industry. When it was established in 1960, KNPC was the only and first national company in a region where hydrocarbon resources were managed and exploited by foreign companies. The owners vision was a stimulating development and provided an exemplary experience in handling national resources. In its perspective KNPC came as a model for the indigenous potentials, to undertake management and exploitation of the oil resources which started to develop into a colossal source of income capable of sustaining the society welfare and financing its over-all development. In 1975 the State acquired full ownership of KNPC and compensated the private shareholders for their stocks. KNPC’s operations were highly integrated mainly relying upon its oil refinery in Shuaiba and the marketing of petroleum products from Al-Ahmadi Refinery, run at the time by Kuwait Oil Company KOC- in both Local and international markets. As a matter of fact KNPC at that time was maintaining an efficient presence in Europe, the Far East and United States of America to handle the marketing of petroleum products from the Kuwait refineries. It even owned and operated a number of oil tankers to deliver petroleum products to customers all across the world.
In 1980 Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) was established as the state owned asset and all other oil companies in Kuwait, including KNPC, became KPC subsidiaries. One year later after the establishment of KPC, the oil sector in Kuwait was restructured on sectorial basis. KNPC became responsible for the oil refining and gas liquefaction industry in addition to the marketing of petroleum products in Kuwait through a chain of filling stations, which reached its peak between 2005/2007 with 119 operating filling stations. In collaboration with KPC the company embarked on studies and plans to modernize refining industry in Kuwait with a multi billion dollar projects to revamp Mina Al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah Refineries.
By the year 1984 Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery Modernization Project (RMP) was completed. It was then supplemented by the Further Upgrading Project (FUP) in 1986. The Two projects practically created a modern new refinery with optimal configuration and advanced technology, and significantly increased the overall capacity of the plant. Two years later Mina Abdullah Refinery modernization project (MAB) was completed turning the old refinery into a state of the art plant with a sizable capacity increase. MAA-RMP and MAB-RMP led not only to capacity increase but also to products quality improvement.
On the domestic scene KNPC continued to build new filling stations in order to add more outlets for products marketing and to respond to the growing demand for gasoline and other fuels. However, KPC and KNPC put into effect the trend towards privatization and started in 2004 to transfer its Local Marketing assets, such as the lube oil plant and the petrol stations, to private companies.
In 2004 the Lube Oil Blending Plant in Shuaiba was sold to a private firm and in early 2005 the privatization process of 119 filling stations commenced with transferring the ownership of 40 filling stations to a shareholding private company. In early 2006 another batch of 40 filling stations was turned over to another shareholding company. The privatization wheel is still rolling on until the last filling station owned by KNPC, is passed to the private sector.