Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research


Petroleum Research Center (PRC) is one of the leading research centers of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The Center was originally a division of KISR under the name Division of Petroleum, Petrochemicals and Materials, which was established in 1967, with the main aim of conducting research and providing consultancy and technical support to the local petroleum industry. Petroleum Research and Studies Center (PRSC) was established in 2000 after moving to Al-Ahmadi city, which later changed to PRC in 2013 during the KISR transformation project (2016-2030).

PRC Mission is to develop innovative solutions and provide an advanced level of technical support to Kuwait and regional oil and petrochemical industries, through establishing new opportunities interfaced with industrial collaborators. The focus of the center’s research programs is on improving proven reserves, enhancing oil recovery, meeting international requirements in terms of petroleum product quality, diversifying the utilization of hydrocarbon resources, maximizing the lifetime of assets, reducing the production cost, and developing new materials and processes.

The Vision of PRC for 2030 is to build a nationally and internationally acknowledged center recognized for sustained research excellence, collaborative links with leading global research groups and corporations. PRC’s focus is on new scientific frontiers and for a big-impact breakthrough in the area of developing new materials and processes related to petroleum and petrochemical industries.

Over the past 20 years, PRC had been working on developing and promoting a culture of research and supporting industrial engagement. The Center’s future perspective by 2020 is expected to accomplish a high level of publication in top international journals while dramatically increasing the development of intellectual property resulting in the potential for several commercial applications. Furthermore, also by 2020, PRC is expected to accomplish several important research priority solutions, for example, development of alkaline-surfactant-polymer (ASP) formulations for saline water flooding suitable for Kuwait oil reservoirs, development of advanced technology for clean diesel production (CDP) and delivery of new value-added petroleum products. In addition to continuing its success within the downstream part of the industry, this effort will also result in significantly strengthening the PRC’s contributions in upstream applications and its strategic relationship with the K-companies.

The PRC aims to achieve its vision through collaboration with international partners. These partners will include academic and research institutions to support building the Center capacity in selected technical fields, specifically in enhanced oil recovery technology, advanced reservoir characterization, petroleum chemistry, reactor engineering, and material science. In addition, the Center will work jointly with selected specialized oil companies that have wider experience in process and product development, commercialization, and marketing to ensure that the outputs of the Center reach the commercialization stage.

The PRC since its establishment has developed extensive capabilities in staff, equipment, and facilities. The Center facilities are located in Al-Ahmadi City and consist of two buildings with a total area of 21.9000 square meters and a total of over 40 laboratory spaces. These laboratory spaces house 32 different specialized research facilities to serve the Center’s different research programs as well as providing “Technical Development and Support (TDS)” to PRC’s main national and international clients. By 2030, the PRC will have an estimated number of 250 research staff distributed into a number of multi-disciplinary teams comprising petroleum and chemical engineers, chemists, geologists, and material scientists.

PRC has developed an excellent working relationship by signing agreements and memorandum of understanding with K-Companies specifically KOC, KNPC, KPC, KGOC and international companies and organizations such as Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum (JCCP), Japan Petroleum Industries (JPI), Idemitsu Kosan Company, and other international catalyst manufacturers.

PRC will also continue to provide support to Kuwait oil sector, particularly to Kuwait Oil Company and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company in conducting studies and monitoring the water and steam injection activities performed by both companies in several oil fields. The Center will continue its role in providing specialized technical services for core and fluid characterization.

The Center has been involved in the past and will continue to be involved in staff training and staff development. PRC has intensively participated in organizing and conducting training programs and workshops to staff from K-companies as well as its own staff and planning to continue these activities in the future. PRC believes that staff capacity building is very essential for the expansion of their expertise and impact on research quality.

The Center has been recently restructured with five specific applied research programs and has its research strategies aligned with the needs of its key client’s strategy.

These specialized applied research programs are as follows:

  • Improved Oil Recovery (IOR)
  • Optimization of Petroleum Refinery Processes (OPRP)
  • Refining Capacity Expansion and Flexibility (RCEF)
  • Polymer Products Enhancement and Customization (PPEC)
  • Corrosion Assessment & Mitigation Technology (CAMT)