Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kuwait plans 3.3 mln bpd of oil output from August. KOC denies deal with Iran on gas imports

KUWAIT, April 14 (KUNA): Output capacity of the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is to increase to 3.3 million barrels per day next August.
The prospected increase of the daily oil output includes Kuwait’s quota in the neutral zone, jointly administered with Saudi Arabia, ranging between 270,000 and 300,000 bpd, the KOC board chairman and managing director, Samy Al-Rushaid, said here Wednesday.
Al-Rushaid said in a statement to the press during a two-day conference titled “Better exchange of oil bids” organized by the KOC that the company’s output capacity is currently 2.900 million bpd and it will rise to 3 million barrels next August.
Meanwhile, Al-Rushaid denied that Kuwait reached an agreement with Iran on importing natural gas, pointing out that negotiations are still proceeding with the Iranian side “though it did not reach the phase of agreement yet”.
He went on to say that negotiations on such topics usually take long times and they may end in an agreement or definitely stop “and in all cases there should be a conviction by all parties that this agreement caters to the interests of both sides.” Al-Rushaid added that sometimes a given party puts forward a proposal that they think that it results in an agreement though it depends on the other party and their acceptance of the proposal and such is “the state of any negotiations”.
Concerning the gas pricing, Al-Rushaid said that this topic should be tackled carefully as it is determined by agreements with other firms, pointing out some data in these agreements are classified.
“If I’m to talk about these date in public, I’ll be violating the contracts signed with these firms”, wondering “Is it possible to talk about such matters in this way.... there are some sensitive and secret matters that cannot be talked about in this way”.
He also said that “if it is ought to talk about such matter, we should ask the permission of other parties first because contracts were worded to be respected not be violated.” Answering a question on the possibility of annexing the liquefied gas plant to KOC, Al-Rushaid said that the gas processes undergo several phases including production, extraction, transfer through pipes, then processing in a liquefied gas plant, then exporting.
He also pointed out that such processes are carried out by many parties, for example, Al-Rushaid explained that “KOC is concerned with output and extraction as well as distributing gas to Kuwaiti market and other consumers, while the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is responible for manufacturing and exporting.” He added that such style of work is not the optimal one and there is a current drive toward putting all such processes under one umbrella, referring that such umbrella might be KOC, KNPC or any other company as “this matter was not decided on yet, but it is certain that there will be an added value brought to the country, if all processes are merged under one umbrella.” Asked about the free gas output, Al-Rushaid said that the output rate currently ranges between 130 and 140 million cubic metres per day in addition to some 50,000 cubic metres of light oil, asserting that what is positive about this is that reached the output stability phase almost a year ago.
He went on to say that “we are still in the first phase of gas output and we are going to reach the second phase by 2013 when output capacity soars to 600 million cubic metres.” In his address, Al-Rushaid considered this conference “an opportunity for exchanging notions, technologies and operations that could promote our capabilities on weathering the challenges of growing demand on hydrocarbons.” He added that “it is the first time that we have a common ground for exchanging expertise about the processes and tools that achieved an added value for the KOC.” Al-Rushaid noted that this conference tackles the ways of supporting staffers in order to weather challenges and bring about change in the company’s performance.

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