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Kuwait’s northern oil fields to produce 860,000 bpd


Kuwaits northern oil fields have seen a ramp up in production which has come about by the successful completion of an early production facility that has increased oil production in the countrys north fields to 860,000 bpd.

Hessniah Hashem, managing director of the Kuwait Oil Co. (KOC), was quoted by KUNA as saying that the northern fields were producing 700,000 bpd before the early production unit came online.The new facility, which was completed at a cost of around US$124 million is currently producing 120,000 bpd of crude oil and 560,000 Mcf/d of associated gas.

The output increase of 160,000 bpd was part of the OPEC member state's plans to raise oil output capacity to 4 million bpd by 2030 from around 3 million bpd currently. But its regular output is around 2.3 million bpd.

Kuwait's northern fields include the aging Rutga, Rawdatain, Abdali, Sabriya, Bahra, and Umm Nigha in the northeast and Mutriba in the far northwest. KOC Chairman Sami al-Rushaid has said that Kuwait intends to invite foreign companies to help raise production further from the northern fields.

Previous government plans to offer foreign oil companies technical service contracts to help develop the northern fields fell through after parliament objected to the involvement of multinationals. However, the new government in Kuwait has revived talks with ExxonMobil on the development of heavy oil fields in the north though these have yet to result in agreement on how to proceed.

Kuwait and ExxonMobil signed preliminary agreements in 2007 under which the US major would develop an estimated 700,000 bpd of heavy oil from northern fields but a final agreement was never signed.Kuwait is also trying to raise its natural gas production capacity to make up for a deficit that has forced it to become an importer of LNG.

The emirate is targeting gas production of 4 Bcf/day by 2030 with a near- term target of 1 Bcf/d by 2015 from current levels of around 130,000-150,000 Mcf/d under a five-year enhanced technical services contract with Shell to develop northern gas fields.