By Reem Shamseddine & Diana Elias
Gulf Arab producer looking to expand oil production capacity to 4m bpd from 3m bpd.
Kuwait will invest around $10.4 billion in upstream developments over the next five years, a senior oil official said on Monday.
Kuwait, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, is looking to expand oil production capacity to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) from 3 million bpd by 2020 and sustain the higher level for 10 years.
The Gulf Arab producer will be relying on enhanced oil recovery techniques as one of the methods to meet its production targets, Kuwait Oil Company's chairman and managing director Sami al Rushaid said at a conference.
He said enhanced oil recovery techniques would be employed in some of Kuwait's reservoirs in the north.
Speaking about how much EOR techniques would contribute to the overall production of Kuwait, Rushaid said: "We expect this to be realised in the range of 20 percent recovery."
He said the development of heavy oil in the north "in the next five years is essential to meet our strategic target."
The official said KOC aimed to develop heavy oil capacity to between 250,000 and 300,000 bpd by 2030, and planned to produce 60,000 bpd in 2015-2016.
He said: "We are still seeking help of international companies in that," adding that talks with Exxon Mobil for that purpose were ongoing.
Rushaid said Kuwait was talking to "almost all the majors" about enhanced technical services agreements.
He said: "As our fields mature, we know we'll be facing challenges. We are soon going to move from an era of easy oil to difficult oil."
He added: "It is ... my firm conviction that we are going to be totally ready for the 4 million capacity by 2020," despite the technical and operational challenges.
Kuwait's current oil production capacity was expected to hit 3.3 million bpd by August, he said.
Kuwait is aggressively pursuing the exploration of gas to meet the expanding demand of power generation. (Reuters)