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OPEC producer Kuwait aims to have 100 percent of the executive, technical, and supervisory jobs in its oil sector held by Kuwaiti nationals by early 2021, Middle East Monitor reports, quoting Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council.
The decision is aimed at “preventing the appointment of expatriates for the sector’s main jobs,” a senior Kuwaiti energy official told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, as carried by Middle East Monitor.
Kuwait’s government will also look to increase the number of domestic firms operating in contracts with state-held firm Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) by 80 percent, according to the official.
Kuwait will start to gradually carry out the plan for 100-percent Kuwaitis at top oil jobs in the second half of 2020, aiming to reach its goal before the start of the country’s next financial year in April 2021.
Nearly three years ago, Kuwait announced plans to increase its crude oil production capacity to 4.75 million bpd by 2040, compared to a current capacity of 3.15 million bpd.
This past Sunday, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel announced the start of trial production at the two fields that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait share and that hadn’t pumped oil in nearly five years due to a dispute between the neighboring countries. Total production is expected to reach 550,000 bpd by the end of the year, al-Fadhel said.
Kuwait’s plans to raise production capacity in the long term is at odds with estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the oil-rich Middle East producers and exporters need urgent reforms to boost non-oil revenues and non-oil economic growth, if they were to keep the immense wealth they have amassed from oil in the past few decades.
Kuwait has a huge sovereign wealth fund, which could help it stave off the total wealth depletion until 2052, according to the IMF.
But Kuwait is heavily dependent on oil—the oil and gas sector accounts for about 40 percent of its GDP and a whopping 92 percent of export revenues, according to OPEC.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.