Kuwait City: Opec member Kuwait will invite bids for a new multi-billion-dollar oil refinery next month as part of a drive to modernise the key sector, a top executive said on Monday.
“We will invite bids for the new refinery project in May,” CEO of national conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) Nezar Al Adasani said.
“Another project costing $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) for the development of heavy oil from northern oilfields will be awarded later in April,” Al Adasani told reporters on the sidelines of the second Gulf Petroleum Forum.
The cost of the new 615,000 barrels per day Al Zour refinery is estimated to be around $15 billion.
Contracts for another $12-billion project to upgrade two of the three existing refineries, awarded in February, will be signed next week with three consortia led by British, US and Japanese companies.
Kuwait has been working to modernise its oil sector which provides around 94 per cent of public revenues.
Former CEO of KPC Faruq Al Zanki said in November 2012 the emirate had earmarked $100 billion to spend on oil projects.
Adasani said the new projects are needed to achieve Kuwait’s strategic target of raising its crude oil production to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020.
He said Kuwait’s current production capacity is 3.3 million bpd and is planned to hit 3.5 million bpd by 2015 and 4.0 million bpd by 2020 and stay unchanged until 2030.
When the two refinery projects are completed by around 2018, Kuwait’s refining capacity will increase to 1.4 million bpd from 930,000 bpd currently.
Mega oil projects have been repeatedly delayed because of political disputes between parliament and the government.
Kuwait says it sits on 10 per cent of the world’s proven crude reserves and is pumping 3 million bpd. It has a native population of 1.25 million and 2.75 million foreign residents.