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Kuwait to launch ‘offshore’ drilling in territorial waters

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‘Project a real challenge for KOC’

KUWAIT CITY, June 20: The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is preparing to launch a new stage in its history, as it will finally start offshore drilling three years after signing a contract worth KD 181 million with Halliburton International. This will pave the way for the entry of the offshore drilling rig in the territorial waters of Kuwait, in preparation for its stability in its specified location, after making amendments to it, for it to be ready to operate within several weeks, reports Al-Rai daily.

The Acting CEO of KOC Khaled Al-Otaibi earlier affirmed that the offshore drilling will start in June. He explained that the reason for the delay of marine operations is due to the delay in manufacturing the rig because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the end of its manufacture, it was inspected in Dubai, and there were observations and modifications required. According to informed sources, the marine oil potential was estimated at billions of barrels of highquality oil, which contributes to achieving Kuwait’s oil strategy 2040. KOC signed a protocol to cooperate with the Ministry of Defense to ensure that the specified rig sites are free of mines. The sources explained that the duration of the offshore drilling project is three years from the start of operations. The expected reserves according to seismic surveys are promising, as the drilling sites were determined according to the strongest possibilities.

The expected production as a result of the project is about 100,000 barrels per day. This will mark Kuwait’s entry into a new era of oil and gas production. Stressing that “this project is a real challenge for KOC”, the sources indicated that KOC is awaiting the arrival of the second rig to Kuwait six months after the start of operations of the first rig, according to the contract. They explained that the contract provides for drilling six exploration wells in the first stage through two marine drilling towers with a capacity of 4,500 HP. This includes drilling support services, logistics services for port management, and boats of various categories to transport personnel, equipment and materials.

The duration for the completion of the project’s first phase is three years, with a period of one year for the preparation of the first drilling rig, and then a year and a half for the other tower. The sources affirmed that the most important steps that were prepared to launch the offshore drilling project were in coordination with a number of governmental and private agencies in Kuwait, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Public Communications Authority, the Amiri Guard, the Directorate General of Coast Guard, and the Kuwait Ports Corporation.

They also include the Ministry of Defense’s Naval Force, the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, the Ministry of Electricity and Water’s Department of Engineering and Environment Programs, the Department of Program Planning and Follow-up, and the Water Projects Sector, Viva Communications, the Ministry of Communications, the Environment Public Authority, and the General Administration of Customs.

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