Kuwait is seeking to make oil acquisitions in regions including south-east Asia as part of plans to meet output targets, according to a senior industry executive in the Gulf state.
Sheikh Nawaf Saudi Al-Sabah, CEO of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration (KUFPEC), told Bloomberg that he was “looking very seriously” at overseas assets.
The state-owned firm currently has blocks in China and Vietnam, where it is seeking to do more. “The way to do this is through acquisitions, and acquisitions that are not piecemeal but that are strategic in nature,” Sheikh Nawaf said.
He added that current output is “not a level that we like”, with gas production accounting for 80 percent of output. “The challenge is to try and get more oil as well,” Sheikh Nawaf said.
KUFPEC, which also operates in Asia, Africa, Australia and other parts of the Middle East, also wants to increase reserves to 650m barrels by 2020 from its present 400m barrels. The company has exploration licences in Pakistan and Australia, and recently secured another in Yemen.
Sheikh Nawaf said the company is also evaluating North American and shale gas opportunities.
Sheikh Nawaf was appointed head of KUFPEC this year as part of a major shake-up of the Gulf state’s natural resources industry, which included new chiefs for a number of large state-owned oil and petrochemical firms.