Hosnia Hashim is the deputy managing director of the North Kuwait asset of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Speaking to Oil & Gas Middle East she says an intensive investment program is underway with key international partners to boost the asset's production capacity to one million barrels of oil each day.
Kuwait often gets a tough rap from the regional press, with government paralysis and indecision often used as bywords for projects few believe will get off the ground. However, when a country responsible for 9% of the world's proven oil reserves decides to get something upstream done, activity is quick to materialise.
The country is currently undergoing a hugely important phase of project roll outs to enhance production capabilities, boost output capacity, and make heavy oil fields a profitable and important part of its energy production mix.
With responsibility for the whole North Kuwait Assets, which includes, but is not limited to the operating and maintenance of North Kuwait production and water handling facilities, field development and reserves growth studies, and the increasingly important heavy oil field development and operations, Hosnia Hashim, deputy managing director of the North Kuwait assets of Kuwait Oil Company, has an array of critical national projects under her jurisdiction.
"I am also responsible for the project management, health safety and environment, human resources, and planning functions for Kuwait's North assets," says Hashim.
Upstream activity in North Kuwait is a massive operation, and Hashim says the situation there is entering an exciting phase, with greater production and new field development projects underway.
"Currently NK is averaging crude oil production of approximately 710,000 barrels of oil per day. NK production is coming from several fields. Our current development plans are targeting to enhance the production from the major producing reservoirs as well as developing the more minor and new reservoirs," she says.
As a proportion of Kuwait's overall production landscape, North Kuwait today represents approximately 30% of overall national crude output. That proportion may be set to change however, as significant upstream spending is underway to further develop those resources.
"North Kuwait is undergoing an intensive capital investment program where we are planning to implement several major projects as well as smaller scale projects all of which are targeting to increase our production capacity to reach our production target of 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2014-15 as per our strategy," explains Hashim.
"We have just successfully commissioned Gathering Center 24 in the North Kuwait area, which is a good example where the investment is going. In addition, we are currently in the final stages of constructing an Early Production Facility with a capacity of 120,000 barrels per day."
Additional Gathering Centres are also being evaluated to be added to contribute to the increase of North Kuwait's production facilities capacity.
"We are in the process of implementing phase-1 as one of the major projects to dispose the effluent water produced with the oil and enhancement to the Sea Water Injection Facility. Phase-2 of this project has also started and currently is at its earliest stages of design," explains Hashim. All of these projects are expected to contribute to boosting the production capacity in the North Kuwait area by a massive 30%.
Looking ahead, Hashim says she is confident the latest asset development plans are on track, and the asset will be achieving its strategic production target of 1 million barrels of oil per day by the 2014-15 target.
Major technical partners operating in North Kuwait, and for Kuwait Oil Company in general are assisting the mammoth effort to get production capacity up. "KOC and North Kuwait in particular has several business relationships with world-leading oil industry partners. Examples of our technical partners at the moment are Schlumberger and Landmark companies. These companies are primarily involved in the fields of service contracts and technology/software support areas," explains Hashim.
Boosting KOC's Northern asset production capability to the 1 million barrels per day mark obviously necessitates a significant capital injection.
"North Kuwait is planning to implement several capital projects which are considered vital to increase our production capacity and help meet our 1 million barrels of oil per day strategic production target. Therefore, a huge investment budget is being planned to meet this ambitious program. Our capital and operating budget is expected to reach as high as US$2.3 billion (KD 670 million) for the working year 2012-13."
Hashim says that the North Kuwait investment programme will be a wholesale E&P mega-project, encompassing new drilling activity, running to hundreds of new wells, as well as new production-boosting water injection projects.
"Even though exploration activity levels might have been dropped since 2008 for KOC as a whole, for the North Kuwait assets we are still planning for an intensive and ambitious development drilling campaign which we are counting on to help us reach our strategic production target."
"Our drilling campaign will consist of drilling different types of wells, such producers, injectors and effluent water disposal wells. We are planning to drill a total of 108 wells during 2010-11, 133 wells during 2011-12, and 123 wells during 2012-13," she concludes.For all the latest Kuwait news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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