Govt Plans Over $40bn Of Investment
Kuwait plans more than $40 billion of investment to significantly increase its capacity to produce oil and gas, a top industry official was quoted as saying Tuesday. The Gulf nation aims to raise the amount of crude oil it can pump by one-quarter, to 4.0 million barrels per day, by 2020, according to the head of planning at state-owned Kuwait Oil Co. The OPEC member will also expand production of natural gas fourfold over the same period, Mohammad Abduljalil told the Al-Jarida newspaper. His remarks follow a 30-percent plunge in oil prices on world markets since June that is hurting the economies of the energy-flush Gulf states. Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair expressed hope Tuesday that oil prices would not drop further. “I hope that (oil) prices will not reach a level where they harm (the) national economy,” Omair told the official KUNA news agency.
Oil income makes up around 94 percent of Kuwait’s public revenues. Omair attributed the slide in oil prices to oversupply and a weak global economy. He said OPEC would discuss oil prices and “take appropriate decisions that serve the economic interests of its members” when they meet at the end of the month. On Monday Omair said he did not expect OPEC to cut production, in remarks that triggered a sharp drop in oil prices on world markets. Crude prices extended losses in Asia Tuesday with US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery down 34 cents to $77.06. OPEC, which pumps about a third of global crude, now produces nearly 31 million barrels per day, around one million barrels more than its official ceiling.
Kuwait’s Minister of Oil and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr Ali Al-Omair said Monday that the oil market is expected to accommodate oil surplus supply soon, noting that the volume of excess supplies is currently unclear. OPEC is unlikely to decide to cut its oil output ceiling at its next meeting in late November, Al-Omair stated to reporters on the sidelines of his participation at the ADIPEC 2014, which kicked off earlier at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. “It will be a hard decision but I don’t think there will be any cut,” he said, expecting that oil prices are unlikely to drop to a level that would hurt the Kuwaiti economy.
Meanwhile, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Badri said that there is no need to panic at markets over recent decline of oil prices, affirming that the situation will improve automatically. Furthermore, UAE’s Minister of Energy Suhail Al-Mazrouei also assured that there is no need to panic over slide of oil prices, noting that the whole matter is not a major issue.