Canada has the expertise petroleum-rich Kuwait needs to develop heavy oil resources in the Mideast country, which has been looking for ways to keep up long-term production, a top engineer with Kuwait Oil Co. said Friday.

“We thought the good practice is to be close to the champion, or the leaders in this area,” said Bader Al-Matar, senior reservoir engineer with the state-owned oil concern.

Kuwait Oil had one of the largest and most lavish exhibits at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary this week.

But unlike most other exhibitors at the huge trade show, KOC had no particular products or services to boast — it simply wanted to cultivate relationships in Canada’s oilpatch.

Canada has the world’s second-largest crude reserves behind Saudi Arabia, mostly in northern Alberta’s oilsands.

While the resource is vast, it takes considerable work to separate the oil from the sand and clay and process it into a type of crude refineries can handle.

Al-Matar said Canadian expertise could be of use to Kuwait, which is reportedly in talks with heavyweights like Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Total SA and ExxonMobil Corp. to help develop its heavy oil reserves.

All three of those firms are players in the oilsands. France-based Total has operations in Venezuela, another major heavy oil producer.