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Kuwait Plans Natural Gas Expansion Overseas

Another major OPEC producer wants to boost its natural gas business overseas as the international upstream unit of state-held Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) aims to significantly raise production from its assets in Canada and Australia, the acting CEO of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUPFEC), Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah, told Bloomberg in an interview published on Wednesday.

KUPFEC plans to raise production from Canada’s shale gas project Kaybob Duvernay from some 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) currently to nearly 20,000 boepd by the end of 2019, Al-Sabah told Bloomberg, adding that production could rise to 60,000 boepd once the project is fully developed in the middle of the next decade.

In November last year, the operator of the Duvernay development, Chevron, signed agreements for additional midstream services to support the gas-processing and liquids-handling needs at the project. KUFPEC holds the remaining non-operated 30-percent interest in the project.

Another notable overseas asset of KUFPEC is a 13.4-percent stake in the Wheatstone LNG Project in Australia.

Earlier this year, KUPFEC won exploration rights to more blocks in Australia and aims to boost the current 40,000 boepd production and produce more gas for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, Al-Sabah told Bloomberg.

Kuwait, like Saudi Arabia, is embarking on a natural gas push overseas as it is restricting its oil production as part of the OPEC+ oil cuts deal.

Kuwait, however, has ambitious targets to increase its domestic oil production capacity in the long run. Kuwait plans to raise its crude oil production capacity to 4.75 million bpd by 2040, up from 3.15 million bpd, while more immediate plans are to raise its capacity to 4 million bpd by 2020.

OPEC’s largest producer Saudi Arabia is also cutting oil production as part of the deal and it also aims to grow its natural gas business. Saudi Aramco is in talks with many partners for a potential joint venture or partnership, in order to grow its international gas position, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said in April.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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