Kuwait Project kept on The Agenda

Source: Reuters 12/5/2005, Location: Middle East

Kuwait's $8.5-billion plan to raise crude production capacity by upgrading northern oil fields got a boost after a key parliamentary committee voted to keep the project draft law on the house's agenda. International consortiums led by London-based BP and U.S.-based ExxonMobil Corp and Chevron Corp are competing for the project, which aims to raise production from four major northern fields to 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) from about 530,000 currently.

This will help boost the production capacity of the OPEC nation, which totals 2.7 million bpd now.

No date has been set yet for a parliament debate on Project Kuwait. Some Kuwaiti political and parliamentary blocs recently started a campaign against Project Kuwait in its current form.

Kuwait, which has about 10 percent of global oil reserves, says the project is strategically important to boost its output.

Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, OPEC's current chief, has defended the project, saying Kuwait lacks the knowhow to make these fields produce at their maximum capacity.


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