ChevronTexaco Consortium to Bid on Kuwait Oil Project

ChevronTexaco has submitted a proposal to Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for a five-member consortium to increase production from the country's northern oil fields. The consortium will also include Total SA, Petro-Canada, Sinopec, and Sibneft.

ChevronTexaco declined to give any further details on the group formed to bid for Project Kuwait, a government-backed scheme to bring in international oil companies to double to 900,000 barrels a day the oil producing capacity of the country's northern oil fields.

Two other groups are also bidding on the project. BP PLC is leading a second consortium with partners Occidental Petroleum, ONGC and Indian Oil Corp. ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Maersk Oil have also submitted a bid as a group.

Kuwait has placed a limit of two operators for each proposed consortia, but this third group currently envisages three, namely ExxonMobil, Shell and ConocoPhillips. An alternate group, without ConocoPhillips, is under consideration by ExxonMobil and Shell if Kuwait blocks the three-operator group.

The groups were presented with a draft operating service agreement last month and have been asked to submit a basic development plan for the oilfields by early September. A more detailed plan is due by the end of September, with commercial bidding expected in early 2004. The project envisages international oil companies operating under service agreements, since the Kuwaiti constitution bars the giving of oil concessions to foreigners.
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