Kuwait on Track to Up Khafji Oil Output to 350,000 B/D

Kuwait Neutral Zone
(Click to Enlarge)

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones Newswires), November 5, 2008

Kuwait is cutting its crude oil output by 100,000 barrels a day from this month as part of a pledge by the OPEC to ship 1.5 million barrels a day less globally, a senior executive said Wednesday.

"We have been given a new quota, starting Nov. 1," said Nizar al-Adsani, deputy managing director of Kuwait Gulf Oil Co., a unit of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

He wasn't able to provide details of exact production schedules at Kuwaiti oil fields but estimated 5%-10% of the decrease will come from the country's offshore fields.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a Middle East-dominated group that pumps about 40% of the world's crude, decided last month to cut output to shore up global oil prices, which have fallen sharply since hitting a record high of $147.27 a barrel July 11.

Oil industry analysts expect Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the U.A.E to shoulder the bulk of the cut; state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is yet to notify term customers of its supply allocations, traders said.

Al-Adsani, speaking on the sidelines of the Asia Oil and Gas Investment Congress, told Dow Jones Newswires his company remains on track to boost output from the Khafji field in the Neutral Zone to 350,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of next year, from 300,000 barrels a day currently.

Local media reported recently Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. will invest $11 billion over 20 years to boost oil output in the area, which Kuwait shares with Saudi Arabia.

Lower oil prices and relatively high raw materials costs won't derail these expansion plans, Al-Adsani said.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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