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Kuwait to boost oil output by 38% to 4m bpd by 2035

Taqa is planning to enter the marine petroleum well services sector, including drilling and exploration in Egypt Reuters/Alexander Manzyuk
Taqa is planning to enter the marine petroleum well services sector, including drilling and exploration in Egypt

Kuwait’s oil minister announced a new strategy to boost fossil fuel production on Monday and said his country would prepare the infrastructure for the Durra gas field, which it shares with Saudi Arabia and Iran claims a stake in.

The strategy for the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) aims to raise overall oil production capacity to four million barrels per day (bpd) by 2035.

KPC subsidiary Kuwait Oil Company’s CEO Ahmed Jaber Al-Eidan said on Monday Kuwait’s production capacity was currently at 2.9 million bpd and would reach 3.2 million bpd by 2025 or 2026.

Kuwait’s crude production averaged about 2.55 million bpd in August, according to Opec, of which Kuwait is a member.

Under KPC’s new strategy, subsidiary KOC aims to increase oil production capacity to 3.65 million bpd by 2035 and will ensure about $11 billion of additional revenue for the state in the next five years, KPC CEO Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al Sabah said on Monday.

KOC, which accounts for about 90 percent of Kuwait’s oil output, also plans to reach gas production capacity of 1.5 trillion cubic feet per day by 2040, Al-Eidan said.

Kuwait’s oil reserves are estimated at 100 billion barrels, Sheikh Nawaf said.

KPC will spend $410 billion through 2040 on the strategy, said Bader Al Attar, KPC managing director for planning and finance.

That will be financed from KPC’s cash flow, debt and partnerships with other companies, Al Attar said.

Oil minister Saad Al Barrak also said the state firm aimed for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

KPC and its subsidiaries plan to invest $110 billion – out of the $410 billion – to achieve the group’s energy transition goals, Al Attar said.

Durra Gas Field

The oil minister, Al Barrak, said the offshore Durra gas field “is considered one of the most important axes of the government’s work programme” in the current legislative session, but gave no further details. A KPC executive said last week Durra is expected to be fully commissioned by 2029.

A Kuwaiti-Saudi Arabian agreement signed last year to develop Durra, which holds an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet in proven reserves, has been criticised by Iran, which has previously said it has a stake in the field and called the agreement “illegal.”

Al Barrak said in July Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had “exclusive rights” in Durra and called on Iran to validate its claim by demarcating its own maritime borders first. He said later the same month Kuwait would start drilling and begin production without waiting for the demarcation.

Sheikh Nawaf, speaking at the conference on KPC’s new strategy on Monday, said Kuwait and Iraq were in discussions about the appropriate production mechanism for the Ratqa and Abdali oilfields, which they share.

In 2019, Iraq and Kuwait agreed to appoint British energy advisory firm ERC Equipoise to prepare a study for the development of joint border oilfields.

KPC also aims to increase its refining capacity to 1.6 million bpd locally and 425,000 bpd abroad by 2025, according to a conference video.

KPC subsidiary Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company’s (Kipic) CEO Waleed Al Bader said the Al Zour refinery complex in the south of Kuwait would operate at its full 615,000 bpd capacity “within days.”

A Kipic spokesperson said last week the third refinery at Al Zour would begin operations before the end of October.

The CEO of KPC’s international arm Kuwait Petroleum International, Shafi Al-Ajmi, said full commercial operation of Oman’s Duqum refinery was expected by the end of 2023, with all units operational, 99 percent of construction complete and trial operations at 81 percent.

Another KPC subsidiary, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, is in “serious discussions” to acquire the largest gas field in Asia, its CEO Mohammad Al-Haimer said, without naming the field or giving further details.