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Kuwait to spend $115 billion on oil projects: official

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KUWAIT CITY: OPEC member Kuwait has earmarked 34.5 billion dinars ($115 billion) to spend on oil projects over the next five years, despite the slump in oil prices, a senior executive said Sunday.

“We have earmarked 34.5 billion dinars for spending on oil projects over the next five years,” Wafa al-Zaabi, head of planning at Kuwait Petroleum Corp, told an oil conference.

“Over 30 billion dinars ($100 billion) will be spent on the local market and the rest abroad,” she said.

Over two-thirds of the spending, or 23 billion dinars, has been allocated for exploration and production, Zaabi said.

Kuwait aims to raise its production capacity, currently just over 3.0 million barrels per day, to 4.0 million bpd by 2020 and maintain it for another decade.

Among main projects, it plans to build four gathering centres, carry out a key project to boost heavy oil production and raise output of free natural gas to over two billion cubic feet daily, from 150 million cubic feet currently, Zaabi said.

Besides the upstream projects, Kuwait is currently implementing three downstream ventures costing over $30 billion.

These include a new 615,000-bpd refinery and a clean fuel project to upgrade two of the three existing refineries, and a platform for LNG imports.

Like other Gulf oil-exporting nations, Kuwait’s revenues have sharply dropped in the past 20 months due to a slump in oil prices.

But the government has insisted it will continue capital investment as planned.

Kuwait has amassed around $600 billion in surpluses in the 16 years to 2014 due to high oil prices. Around 95 percent of state revenues came from oil.

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