Kuwait to spend Dh422bn on oil projects



Kuwait has earmarked 34.5 billion dinars (Dh422.41) to spend on oil projects over the next five years, despite the slump in oil prices, a senior executive said on Sunday.

"We have earmarked 34.5bn dinars for spending on oil projects over the next five years," Wafa Al Zaabi, the head of planning at Kuwait Petroleum, told an oil conference.

“Over 30bn dinars will be spent on the local market and the rest abroad,” she said.

Over two-thirds of the spending, or 23bn dinars, has been allocated for exploration and production, Ms Al Zaabi said.

Kuwait aims to raise its production capacity, currently just over 3 million barrels per day, to 4 million bpd by 2020 and maintain it for another decade.

Among main projects, it plans to build four gathering centres, carry out a key project to boost heavy oil production and raise output of free natural gas to over two billion cubic feet daily, from 150 million cubic feet currently, Ms Al Zaabi said.

Besides the upstream projects, Kuwait is currently implementing three downstream ventures costing over US$30bn.

These include a new 615,000 bpd refinery and a clean fuel project to upgrade two of the three existing refineries, and a platform for LNG imports.

Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), the state refining operation, is in final stages of talks with international institutions for US$6.4bn in the second tranche of loans to finance its multibillion-dollar Clean Fuels project, the state news agency Kuna reported on Sunday.

The first portion, signed on April 28, was worth 1.2bn dinars with Kuwaiti lenders led by National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House.

KNPC is in the process of final legal reviews for the foreign loans and will determine the pricing and interest rates, Kuna quoted the company’s financial advisor Khalid Al Ajeel as saying.

International lenders for the second tranche will include credit agencies from Europe, South Korea and Japan, Mr Al Ajeel said.

Like other Arabian Gulf oil-exporting nations, Kuwait’s revenues have sharply dropped in the past 20 months due to a slump in oil prices.

But the government has insisted it will continue capital investment as planned.

Kuwait has amassed around $600bn in surpluses in the 16 years to 2014 due to high oil prices. Around 95 per cent of state revenues came from oil.

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