KUWAIT: Kuwait has decided not to build an oil export pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz because it would be too difficult and costly, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday. Kuwait’s Gulf OPEC allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have opened alternative oil export routes to reduce their reliance on shipping lanes that Iran has threatened to block several times over the last few years. State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has also studied alternative export options, including pipelines through neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Al-Qabas daily newspaper said.

But these proposals have been dismissed as too expensive because of the long routes involved, the paper said, citing senior oil industry sources. KPC was not immediately available for comment. Unlike Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose Hormuz bypass pipelines only run across their own territories, Kuwait would have to pump oil hundreds of miles across a neighboring state. Kuwait’s economy is highly dependent on oil revenues and all its oil exports – around 2 million barrels a day – are shipped out of the narrow waterway between Iran and Oman.

In another development, officials of government radio stations in the Arab Gulf countries support Bahrain’s initiative to launch “This is the Arabian Gulf” Radio Station in October this year, contributing to common GCC action, a Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Yusuf Mustafa, Information Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Radio Affairs, said the new radio station would contribute to preserving traditions, culture, art and literature of the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Mustafa was speaking to KUNA after a meeting of senior radio officials in GCC countries. He said participants approved initial launch of the Bahrain-based radio station through Bahrain Radio end of this month. The GCC countries will assess the new radio station for three months, said Mustafa, and engineers would determine the frequency modulation (FM) in every country.

GCC information ministers will be discussing the new radio station when they meet late this month, he said. Once approved, added Mustafa, the Gulf radio stations would launch promotion campaigns for the new station. Mustafa, meanwhile, said Kuwait Radio gave Bahrain Radio a copy of its programs for non-Arab listeners in English, Urdu, Filipino and Persian languages. The GCC consist of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. – Agencies