Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Ali Al Jarrah Al Sabah, has said plans to develop oilfields in the north of the country will be released by the end of May.
Investment banks Morgan Stanley and Lazard will review the development, termed Project Kuwait, before submitting a revised plan in the coming months.
"Among ideas on developing the northern oilfields, there is a proposal to entrust Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to take care of developing these fields," said Sheikh Ali.
Project Kuwait has come under fire from members of parliament following concerns about its escalating costs. Kuwait Commercial Complex Company (KCCC) recently published an economic report on the mega-projects in the country. It claimed most of the financial surplus created by the increase in oil price over the last few years has been channelled to the reserve fund of the state.
"The delay in the approval of the project has seen an increase in its cost from US $3-4 billion to US $8.5 billion," claimed the report. "By the time the project is approved, the cost may well exceed US $10 billion."
The criticism comes amid fears that Kuwait may abandon its plans to build a new oil refinery if a second round of bidding, expected within weeks, fails to see significant reductions in the high costs.
"In case our second round does not succeed, we will go to other alternatives ... thus shelving the refinery project," said Asad al-Saad, deputy managing director of the Kuwait National Petroleum Company.For all the latest energy and oil 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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