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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 1: According to Argos Media website Kuwait’s current oil production capacity is approximately 3 million barrels per day, including half of the production capacity of 550,000 barrels per day it extracts from the neutral zone, which Kuwait shares equally with Saudi Arabia, reports Al-Rai daily. The website described Kuwait’s plans to increase its oil production capacity as ‘ambitious goals’ after years of decline in production. Quoting the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Hashem Hashem, Argos said Kuwait aspires to produce 3.5 million barrels of crude oil per day by 2025. A day earlier Minister of Oil, Muhammad Al-Faris, had stated that Kuwait was looking to produce 4 million barrels per day by 2035 until 2040.
The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) according to Argos intends to reach the target capacity of 3.5 million barrels per day by pressing into service two additional collection centers and building new water treatment and injection facilities, as well as modernizing existing Jurassic production facilities and adding two facilities to increase production of light crude oil. This is in addition to implementing an integrated drilling program that includes 500 wells per year on average and maintenance of 2,000 wells. He added that KPC expects to have about 3.2 million barrels per day of production capacity in 2025 within the Kuwaiti territory, and 355,000 barrels per day in the neutral zone. This means that the total production capacity in the neutral zone will rise to 700,000 barrels per day.
However, the website quoted the KPC chief executive officer as expecting that the region’s production in 2022 would return to its pre-2015. The website indicated the production of each of the offshore fields in Wafra and Khafji (within the neutral zone), was 250 and 300 thousand barrels per day, respectively, fell below their production capacity after resuming production in early 2020 following a hiatus that lasted more than 4 years. The website reported that KOC which is responsible for extracting oil in the country outside the neutral zone, revealed in its annual report a few days ago that its production capacity at the end of last March fell to 2.63 million barrels per day, after it was 3.15 million three years ago. Hashem said the decline in the production capacity of the KOC in recent years does not give a complete picture of the extraction sector in Kuwait, because the company has 500,000 barrels per day of additional production potential waiting to be released in the next two years.
The website revealed Kuwait’s plans to raise its oil production capacity coincided with growing concerns about the ability of the OPEC Plus group to fully comply with ending its production cuts by the end of next year, especially since some members of the group, particularly Angola and Nigeria, were facing difficulty in increasing production due to infrastructure problems and the natural decline in the production of old fields. But the site indicates that Kuwait is one of the few members of the OPEC Plus group that has excess production capacity. According to Argos’ estimates, Kuwait produced 2.46 million barrels per day last month, while its baseline under the OPEC+ agreement is 2.81 million. As of next May, it will have to start from a higher reference number of 2.96 million barrels per day. “Argos” quoted Al-Hashem as confirming that Kuwait is able to continue increasing its production within the limits of the “OPEC +” agreement to help meet global demand.