Kuwait Oil Sector Risks Being Left Behind

Kuwait’s oil sector is falling further behind its peers as its 2020 upstream strategy lies in tatters. Political activism has long obstructed oil and gas development and a brief reprieve during 2013-16 now appears a distant memory.

Ten years ago Kuwait was tussling with Iraq to be Opec’s third largest producer. But the intervening years have seen it lag behind its peers to the point where it is now the fifth largest and dependent on US Iran sanctions to leapfrog Iran back into fourth.

Kuwait output now lies a massive 360,000 b/d behind Opec’s No.3 the UAE, which pumped 3.10mn b/d in January (see p8). That gap is set to widen as Abu Dhabi presses ahead with ambitious expansion plans, while Kuwait picks up the pieces from its failed 2020 plans.

Kuwait in December finally admitted defeat on its long standing plan to boost production capacity to 4mn b/d by 2020 ( MEES, 14 December 2018 ). Of this, 3.65mn b/d was to come from its core Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) operated fields, with a further 350,000 b/d from the offline Neutral Zone which is shared with Saudi Arabia. (CONTINUED - 1084 WORDS)