Kuwait Targets 4mbpd of Oil by 2020

Kuwait Targets 4mbpd of Oil by 2020Kuwait Targets 4mbpd of Oil by 2020

Kuwait’s oil minister said his country still plans to produce 4 million barrels of oil a day by 2020, even as global crude prices have slumped.

Ali al-Omair made the comments Monday at an oil and gas conference in the capital, Kuwait City, AP reported.

The state-run Kuwait News Agency also quoted Omair as saying the Persian Gulf country’s production now stood at 3 million barrels of oil a day and that any US decision to export crude oil would not have an impact on Kuwait.

Meanwhile, KUNA quoted the CEO of the Kuwait Oil Co., Nizar al-Adsani, as saying Kuwait may import natural gas from Iraq and Iran to power its electricity plants.

Kuwait has made it a national priority to ramp up production capacity to 4 million barrels a day to help it reach new markets.

But over the years Kuwait has faced delays on new projects, many of which have been blamed on political disagreements over contracts awarded to foreign companies. The National Assembly has often bucked the wishes of its prime minister, who is appointed by the emir.

“We are facing some delays, but we are trying our best to meet our strategy,” Omair said.

Even with technical help from a company like Exxon, Kuwait will not reach 4 million barrels a day by 2020, said Kamel al-Harami, a Kuwaiti independent oil analyst. He has argued that the country needs to change its constitution to allow big oil companies to own stakes.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency said last year that the 2020 target was unrealistic “given the near total absence of development projects on the books” and predicted the country’s production would decline by 2020. The Kuwait Oil Ministry has said that prediction was “far from reality.”

Kuwaiti politicians have also raised questions about transparency and what the country gives up in return for foreign help.

In 2011, the National Assembly began an investigation, still ongoing, into the Shell contract after claims that it was awarded without competition.  A Shell spokesperson said the company respects the investigation and declined further comment. Since then, foreign companies have been more hesitant to invest in Kuwait.