Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kuwait sees progress in talks with foreign oil firms

* Talking to all IOCs on technical service agreements

* Making very good progress, official says

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Kuwait is making progress in talks on technical service agreements with international energy companies and discussions on one or more could be finished this year, a senior oil official said on Tuesday.

Kuwait, among the world's largest oil exporters and an OPEC member, is looking to expand oil production capacity to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) from 3 million bpd by 2020 and sustain the higher level for 10 years. [ID:nLDE63P18A]

"We are talking to all the international oil companies," Sami al-Rushaid, the Managing Director of state-run Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) said at the World National Oil Companies Congress in London.

"We have made some very good progress in our negotiations and we hope to conclude at least one before the end of the year."

Kuwait signed a technical service contract with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) for gas field development in February. Rushaid did not name the firm or firms with which he hoped the talks would be completed this year.

He said in April that Kuwait would be relying on enhanced recovery techniques as one of the methods to meet its oil production targets, and that these were to be employed in some of Kuwait's reservoirs in the north.

The Gulf Arab state has been talking to Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N) over the development of heavy oil in the north. Chevron (CVX.N) and BP (BP.L) have also previously discussed technical services agreements with Kuwait.

France oil major Total (TOTF.PA) is also looking at working with Kuwait on enhanced oil recovery.

Kuwait oil officials and foreign oil firms failed for years to make progress on new deals as a power struggle between government and parliament paralysed the state. [ID:nLDE63S0I2]

But a change in the political mood has given optimism to both Kuwait oil officials and foreign oil firms.

For a related analysis, please click on [ID:nLDE63S0I2] (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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