Saudi Arabia, Kuwait signal likely extension of oil supply cuts

20 Apr 2017   Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

Leading Gulf oil producers Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gave the clearest signal yet that OPEC plans to extend into the second half of the year a deal with non-OPEC producers to curb oil supplies. Consensus is growing among oil producers that their supply restraint agreement should be extended after its initial six-month term, but there is as yet no agreement, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday. “There is consensus building but it’s not done yet,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the United Arab Emirates. Asked about non-OPEC producer Russia, Falih replied: “We are talking to all countries. We have not reached an agreement for sure, but the consensus is building.” Kuwait’s oil minister Essam al-Marzouq, at the same event, said he expected to […]

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait Aim for $60 a Barrel Oil Price

Some of OPEC’s biggest oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, are now targeting $60 a barrel as the level where they want to push crude prices, OPEC officials said, signaling they will support additional production cuts next month. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait believe $60 a barrel will lift their economies and allow for more energy-industry investment, the officials said, without jumpstarting too much American shale output, which…

Kuwait Becomes First OPEC Nation to Call for Longer Oil Cuts

14 Mar 2017   Kuwait, OPEC

Kuwait wants OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June, becoming the producer group’s first member to call for more time to balance the global oil market as the rally that boosted prices initially on the curbs has faded. U.S. inventories have climbed more than expected, causing prices to decline even as global producers cut their output, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said, according to official news agency Kuna. Kuwait supports rolling over the oil cuts, though it’s too early for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree on an extension, he said. “Kuwait supports the extension of the agreement after June,” Almarzooq said. An extension will ‘‘accelerate the rebalancing of the global oil market and will contribute to the return of prices to levels acceptable for producing countries and for the petroleum industry in general.” OPEC and 11 other major producers agreed last year to slash production, spurring […]

Kuwait Energy Plans London IPO, Seeks $1 Billion Valuation

2 Mar 2017   Kuwait

Kuwait Energy Plc is planning an initial public offering in London that could value the oil and gas exploration business at as much as $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The independent energy firm, with assets across Oman, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen, is working with Bank of America Corp. , the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Numis Corp. also has a role on the potential IPO, one of the people said. A listing could take place in the first half, though no final decisions have been made, they said. Kuwait Energy didn’t immediately respond to requests, while representatives for Bank of America, Numis declined to comment. The number of oil and gas companies going public dwindled after oil prices crashed in 2014. The last IPO of size in London was that of Nigerian oil and gas explorer Seplat Petroleum […]

Kuwait Boosts Oil Capacity to Open Taps Once OPEC’s Cuts Expire

16 Feb 2017   Kuwait

Kuwait is sticking with plans to add half a million barrels a day of oil-production capacity as it prepares for the eventual expiration of the output quotas OPEC adopted to help drain a global oversupply, the head of Kuwait Oil Co. said. State-run KOC plans to raise the Gulf nation’s capacity from its current level of 3.15 million barrels a day, Chief Executive Officer Jamal Jaafar said in an interview in Kuwait City. The company, which is responsible for most of Kuwait’s domestic crude production, will add capacity even if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decides to extend the supply cuts beyond June, he said. “We will continue to increase production capacity because we have a five-year plan to reach 3.65 million barrels a day by 2021, so we can’t stop investing in that,” Jaafar said on Wednesday. “We will take advantage of the OPEC-cut deal to perform […]

Kuwait Says Saudi Arabia to U.A.E. Comply With OPEC Output Cuts

Oil producers from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates are complying with production cuts promised last year to stabilize the market, Kuwait’s governor to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said. Qatar, Kuwait and Oman are also complying, having announced cuts to customers, Nawal Al-Fezaia, Kuwait’s OPEC governor, said in an interview Monday in Kuwait City where OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo is scheduled to have talks on the cuts with Kuwait Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouk and other officials. OPEC and crude producers outside the group, including Russia, are implementing production cuts of about 1.8 million barrels a day this year after crude prices slumped from more than $100 a barrel since 2014 amid oversupply. Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the cuts because of conflict. Brent crude is little changed this year at $56.84 a barrel after rallying 51 percent last year. “It’s a good time to […]

Kuwait committed to OPEC cuts despite restart for neutral zone: oil minister

15 Dec 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait is committed to cutting output by 131,000 b/d in January in line with its commitments under OPEC’s output reduction deal, oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said Thursday. That was despite Kuwait’s state-owned oil company making preparations to restart around 500,000 b/d of production from the Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ) shared with Saudi Arabia, which has been closed for nearly two years. “We started the primary heating and cleaning of operational equipment, pending a final decision from Kuwait’s leadership,” Marzouqi said, according to comments reported by state-run Kuna news agency. “Any increase in production from certain areas will be balanced by equal reductions in other regions”, the minister said. The two countries agreed to restart production from the 300,000 b/d offshore Khafji oil field at the end of March. Some analysts had said resuming production from the neutral zone, which has a combined output of 500,000 b/d, could temper the […]

Joint Kuwait-Saudi Oil Fields to Stick to OPEC Caps If Restarted

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agreed that any resumption of crude production from shared oil fields along their border won’t raise their output beyond limits set at an OPEC meeting last week, according to two officials familiar with the talks. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will cut output from their producing oil fields to allow for any increase from the Wafra and Khafji fields between the two countries, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The countries have yet to agree on a specific time to restart the shared fields. Kuwaiti and Saudi government officials declined to comment on the matter. OPEC’s three largest producers — Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran — overcame discord to reach last Wednesday’s pact to reduce the group’s output by 1.2 million barrels a day starting Jan. 1. Saudi Arabia agreed to cut its output by 486,000 barrels a […]

Voter Backlash Brings Lots of New Faces to Kuwait’s Assembly

28 Nov 2016   Kuwait

A Kuwaiti judge and his aides count the ballots at a polling station. Thirty of 50 lawmakers lose seats in Saturday’s election New assembly may find relations with government strained The majority of Kuwait’s outgoing parliament has been voted out of office after citizens used Saturday’s election to voice displeasure with austerity measures imposed to prop up state finances in an era of cheap oil. With turnout at a strong 70 percent, only 20 of the previous parliament’s members held onto their seats in the 50-member body, local media reported on Sunday. The next chamber will be dominated by a mix of new candidates and opposition leaders who were returned to office. Kuwait, which is running a budget deficit after a decade of surpluses, may now find passing fiscal reforms harder in the future. The government, which is appointed by the emir, has tried to curtail some of its […]

Kuwait Said to Renew Contract to Supply Crude Oil to Egypt

18 Nov 2016   Egypt, Kuwait

Egypt to get 2 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude a month Shipments not meant to make up for Egypt’s loss of Saudi fuel Kuwait renewed a contract to supply Egypt with crude oil for the next three years, according to a senior Kuwaiti government official, who said the shipments are not intended to make up for the loss of Saudi fuel shipments to the North African country. Egypt will get 2 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude a month starting Jan. 1, according to the official, who asked not to be identified because the contract wasn’t announced publicly. The contract is for three years and the supplies will be based on international prices, he said. The contract is an extension of the current agreement between the two countries, the official said. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, has halted shipments of oil products to Egypt since October, forcing […]

Kuwait’s acting oil minister expects output ‘understanding’ at November OPEC meeting

18 Oct 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait’s finance minister and acting oil minister, Anas al-Saleh, said on Monday he was optimistic that an understanding on production “at least” would be reached between producers at an OPEC meeting in November.  He said expectations that oil prices would be between $50 and $60 over the next 10 to 15 months were “logical and acceptable”.  Saleh was speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the opening of the Ahmad al-Jabe oil and gas show.  He said that current prices were unsustainable but that he believed the cancellation of oil investments globally would help to balance supply and demand so as to arrive at an acceptable price.  Saleh also said GCC ministers who had been at OPEC’s Istanbul meeting last week reported that there was a positive atmosphere there, including among non-OPEC producers.

Low Oil Prices, Security Issues Deal Death Blow To Kuwaiti Parliament

18 Oct 2016   Kuwait

Emir Kuwait Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah ordered the dissolution of Parliament over the weekend, citing security concerns and “the circumstances in the region”, which includes the oil price crunch and other economic and security worries. The announcement followed an emergency meeting of the government one day after the speaker of the 50-strong legislature called for early elections, again on the grounds of economic challenges, largely stemming from oil. Al Jazeera notes that the Parliament had sent three requests to the government for a discussion on the latter’s decision to raise gasoline prices as well as on allegations of administrative and financial violations. The government’s apparent refusal to respond to the requests indicated growing pressure between it and Parliament. Kuwait, like its neighbors, is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues for its well-being, so the international price crash that started two years ago affected it along with the […]

Kuwait Forms A US$6 Billion National Oil Firm

12 Oct 2016   Kuwait

The Kuwaiti government gave the go-ahead to a request by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) to create what would be the country’s largest oil company , according to ArabianBusiness.com on Tuesday. The new firm – the Kuwait Integrated Petrochemical Industries Company (KIPIC) – will act as a subsidiary of the KPC and, Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery deputy chief executive officer Ahmed Al-Jeemaz believes it will have the production capacity of approximately 615,000 barrels per day (bpd). Al-Jeemaz further noted that the KIPIC will play a pivotal role in running the Az-Zour complex, which serves to process petrochemicals and is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing facility. The Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) mentioned that the KIPIC will have a capital of US$6 billion, of which one-quarter, or US$1.5 billion, has already been paid. The KPC, which runs refining and petrochemical projects, as well as Az-Zour, is rumored to have plans to […]

Kuwait to Raise Gasoline Prices to Counter Oil Revenue Plunge

2 Aug 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait’s government approved an increase in prices of gasoline sold locally, becoming the latest oil-rich Arab nation to cut subsidies as lower crude prices squeeze finances. The OPEC member will increase the price of the lowest octane gasoline to 85 fils per liter (30 cents) starting September, state-run news agency KUNA reported. The prices of the two higher gasoline grades will be raised to 36 cents and 56 cents per liter, it reported. The new prices were agreed after an “exhaustive study,” and are in line with average rates in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the government said. The plunge in oil prices has prompted members of the six-nation GCC to revise the generous benefits their citizens traditionally enjoyed, and forced them to tap the international bond market to plug their deficits. Kuwait plans to raise as much as $9.9 billion internationally and 2 billion dinars locally. Oil has slipped […]

This Big OPEC Member Might Be The Next Big Opportunity For Oilfield Services

15 Jul 2016   Kuwait

There’s been a global trend toward privatization of natural resources the last several months. With lower commodities prices prompting governments like Saudi Arabia to raise cash through the sale of part of state oil firm Aramco — and the Russian government this week announcing it has sold a 10.9 percent stake in diamond miner Alrosa for $816 million. But the biggest development in privatization may be about to drop, in one of the world’s richest oil nations. Kuwait. That revelation came in the form of an offhand comment from Kuwait’s finance undersecretary Khalifa Hamada. Who mentioned during a press gathering Tuesday that the government is considering privatizing the oil field services sector. Hamada gave scant details on the privatization plan, only referring to it in passing during answers to other questions. But the suggestion was clear — Kuwait’s government is seriously considering allowing outside investment in its […]

Kuwait Considers Privatizing Oil-Field Services

13 Jul 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait is considering privatizing its oil-field services sector, a senior finance ministry official said Tuesday, in a potentially controversial move in the petroleum-dependent Persian Gulf state. Fears of industry privatization and pay cuts fueled a three-day strike in April in Kuwait , knocking out nearly half of the country’s production of 2.8 million barrels a day and demonstrating that labor unrest can cause output problems even in tightly controlled Middle East nations. The country is the fifth-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, a 14-nation crude-oil cartel. Kuwait’s privatization review comes as its neighbor, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude, is preparing to publicly list up to 5% of its state-run oil company. The float of shares in Saudi Arabian Oil Co. , or Saudi Aramco, is part of […]

Despite Low Oil Prices, Kuwait Plans To Invest $42 Billion By 2022

20 May 2016   Kuwait

Iran Kuwait Offshore Field Kuwait’s state-run oil company is planning US$42 billion in investments by 2022, as the country pursues a three-fold strategy to increase oil production, expand its refineries and flesh out a clean fuels project. Speaking at an oil committee meeting on Wednesday, Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation’s (KNPC) officials said investments would focus on expanding two key refineries—Mina Al Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah. KNPC officials also touted the country’s Clean Fuel Project (CFP), which they said was already more than half complete and should be 75 percent complete by the end of this year. Related: Oil Prices Take A Step Back As Dollar Appreciates It all fits into Kuwait’s apparent policy of spending extravagantly in the middle of an oil price slump, that is now easing. A senior Kuwaiti official was quoted on Thursday as saying that Kuwait is “spending as much as possible” to boost economic […]

How the Mideast’s Second-Richest Nation Is Reacting to Oil Shock

19 May 2016   Kuwait

The man in charge of helping Kuwait navigate the global oil-price shock said the Middle East’s second-richest nation is responding to the crisis by “spending as much as possible” to bolster economic growth. Anas Al-Saleh, Kuwait’s deputy premier, said that the government isn’t canceling any projects. At the same time, authorities are cutting wasteful spending to plug a budget deficit that could exceed 13 percent of gross domestic product in 2016, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. Al-Saleh, the minister of finance and the country’s acting oil chief, is pushing a plan to reduce Kuwait’s reliance on oil, a challenge shared by major crude exporters from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria. The measures include reducing utility subsidies, introducing corporate taxes, merging state entities to downsize the government and tapping local and international debt markets. “We are determined to go forward and spend as much as possible on our economy and […]

Kuwait deputy FM says Iran, oil producers must not increase production

14 May 2016   Iran, Kuwait

Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister Khaled Jarallah said oil exporting countries must freeze production and the market could not support a production increase from Iran, state news agency KUNA reported on Saturday. “There is no choice but to freeze production,” KUNA quoted Jarallah as telling Japanese news agency Jiji press while he and acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh attend a Kuwait-Japan business seminar in Tokyo. Asked about Iranian production policy, Jarallah said, “Iran should learn from the market … the market does not give an opportunity to increase production.” OPEC members and other oil exporters failed in a meeting in the Qatari capital Doha on April 17 to reach an agreement on freezing their output to rebalance the global oil market. Iran, seeking to regain market share after […]

Full crude oil production from the Partitioned Neutral Zone

13 May 2016   Kuwait

Full crude oil production from the Partitioned Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could restart in a year, head of research at Kuwait Petroleum Company Abdulaziz Al Attar said Tuesday. “It is very difficult to say when, but it is in the process [of restarting],” Al Attar said at the Platts Crude Oil Summit in London. “We hear production will come back… a month, maybe a year, but we don’t know exactly when.” The PNZ consists of the 200,000 b/d onshore Wafra field, which ceased production in May 2015 and the 300,000 b/d offshore Khafji field, which has been shut since October 2014. Article Continues below… Oilgram News brings you fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news on and including: Industry players, upstream and downstream markets, refineries, midstream transportation and financial reports Supply and demand trends, government actions, exploration and technology Daily futures summary Weekly API statistics, and much […]

Kuwait Plans To Ramp Up Oil Production By 44% Before 2020

12 May 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait Oil Refinery A senior Kuwait Petroleum Corp official has confirmed to media the company’s plans to increase production by 44 percent to almost 4 million barrels a day in 2020. The plan is a continuation of current attempts to pump as much crude as possible and tender new E&P projects in the Persian Gulf. In addition, Kuwait Petroleum Corp plans to ramp up local refining capacities. Kuwaiti crude is currently trading at around $40 a barrel, a palpable discount to international benchmark Brent. However, Kuwait boasts low-cost production, but according to a local energy analyst , $40 is below the breakeven level, and significantly so. Kamal Al-Harami has slammed the government for failing to come up with a contingency plan in case prices stay at current levels, and for doing nothing to prop them up—not that there’s a lot Kuwait could do on its own, even though it […]

Kuwait courts South Korea in the face of drop in crude market share

11 May 2016   Kuwait, South Korea

Kuwait is making a concerted effort to retain its importance as a reliable crude oil supplier to South Korea, where it has seen its market share dip as Korean refiners, spoilt for choice, have picked up more barrels from Iraq and Iran. A high-profile delegation led by Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Oil Minister Anas Khalid Al Saleh is in Seoul this week where they met with several South Korean leaders, including President Park Geun-Hye and her energy minister, and chief of the country’s biggest refiner, among others. Kuwait has seen its market share in South Korea’s total crude imports drop to 14% in Q1 2016 from 14.7% in Q1 2015 as Iraq has raised its share to 14.3% from 12.9% and Iran to 8.6% from 4.2% over the same period, data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp. showed. Kuwait […]

Kuwait Emerging From Strike With Plans to Have Record Oil Output

26 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait plans to boost oil production to more than 3 million barrels a day within months, doubling output from where it stood during last week’s oil-worker strike. Output will climb to 3.15 million barrels a day by June, Haitham Al-Ghais, market research manager at government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp., said Monday in an interview in Abu Dhabi. That would be the OPEC member’s highest level of production ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A three-day strike by Kuwaiti oil workers sent crude production tumbling to 1.5 million barrels a day last week. The Oil & Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation agreed to end the walkout after the government refused to negotiate while labor was off the job. Kuwait produced 3 million barrels a day before the strike, data compiled by Bloomberg show, making it the fourth-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. “The strike is now done and […]

Kuwait Oil Output Almost at Capacity One Day After Strike Ends

22 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait’s oil production is almost back to capacity one day after workers called off a strike that had disrupted output and sent prices rising. OPEC’s fourth-largest producer boosted output to 2.9 million barrels a day on Thursday, acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh said in a letter posted on state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp.’s Twitter account. Capacity is 3 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Production was 1.5 million barrels on Tuesday, one day before the strike ended. The 13,000 members of the Oil & Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation walked off their jobs to protest cuts in pay and benefits amid a push by Middle Eastern crude exporters to reduce subsidies and government handouts to cope with falling oil prices. A global glut of crude has pushed prices 27 percent lower in the past year. Worldwide supply surpassed demand by 1.5 million barrels a day in the […]

Kuwait Oil Workers End Strike

21 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwaiti oil workers sit at the union’s headquarters in Al-Ahmadi, south of Kuwait City, on… Oil workers in Kuwait have ended a three-day strike that had almost halved crude output in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ fourth-largest producer, after the government said it wouldn’t negotiate while the walkout lasted. Workers resumed their jobs earlier Wednesday “out of respect for the country’s emir” after successfully showing the importance of their role in the economy, the oil-workers union said in a news release. The move came just hours after Kuwait’s acting oil minister, Anas al-Saleh, ruled out negotiations with the employees until they ended their strike and said the country’s oil sector would continue to operate despite the strikes. “The goal in going on strike was to send a clear message,” the Union of Petroleum and Petrochemical Workers said in the statement. “The workers reiterated in their action their […]

Oil Declines as Kuwait Workers End Strike After 3-Day Disruption

20 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Oil fell after Kuwait workers said they would end a strike that disrupted output in OPEC’s fourth-largest producer for three days. Futures fell as much as 3 percent in New York. Prices gained 3.3 percent on Tuesday, the first advance in five days, after the protest reduced Kuwait’s production by as much as 1.7 million barrels a day. U.S. inventories probably increased by 3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. That compares with industry data showing a 3.1 million-barrel gain. Talks in Doha on Sunday between the world’s largest producers about capping production failed after Saudi Arabia insisted it wouldn’t restrain output without commitments from all Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members, including Iran, which has ruled out freezing for now. Workers in Kuwait went on strike to protest cuts in pay and benefits as Middle Eastern crude exporters […]

Kuwait’s Oil Output Set to Return to Normal After Strike Ends

20 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait’s oil production is set to return to normal in three days after thousands of striking workers returned to their jobs Wednesday. OPEC’s fourth-largest producer will boost output to an average of 3 million barrels a day in three days, according to a statement from Kuwait Petroleum Corp. on Wednesday. Output was 1.5 million barrels a day on Tuesday compared with 1.1 million on Sunday. Oil refineries are still operating at about 520,000 barrels a day, Khaled Al-Asousi, spokesman at state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co., said in a text message. Plants had been operating at that rate, less than 60 percent of capacity, since the strike began on Sunday. The 13,000 members of the Oil & Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation went on strike to protest cuts in pay and benefits as Middle Eastern crude exporters reduced subsidies and government handouts to cope with falling oil prices. A global […]

Kuwait to boost oil production despite strike

19 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwaiti oil sector employees sit in a shaded area on the first day of an official strike called by the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Union over public sector pay reforms, in Ahmadi, Kuwait April 17, 2016. Kuwait plans to boost crude oil production back to normal levels, despite an open-ended strike by Kuwaiti oil workers, an official from state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) was quoted as saying on Monday. The Kuwaiti government has said it would take legal action against what it said were instigators of a strike by thousands of workers over planned public sector reforms which labor unions say will affect workers’ benefits. Khaled al-Asousi, KNPC’s deputy chief executive for support services, told Dubai-based al-Arabiya television that output was now 1.1 million barrels per day — the same as the first day of strike on Sunday — but would be back at normal levels […]

Striking oil workers in Kuwait disable over 60 percent of production

19 Apr 2016   Kuwait

The Doha talks came and went yesterday. With little to show after Saudi Arabia largely refused to take action on oil output cuts without the cooperation of Iran. But even as OPEC leaders were meeting in Qatar, a potentially bigger story for crude broke in a completely different spot. Kuwait — OPEC’s fourth-largest oil producer. That was the spot of a surprise strike by the country’s oil workers, with key union Oil & Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation directing about 6,000 of its total 13,000 members to stand down from their jobs Sunday at Kuwait’s oil fields and refineries. The walk-off Sunday morning had an immediate and massive effect on Kuwait’s oil production, with officials from Kuwait Oil Company saying that Kuwait’s crude output has now been reduced to just 1.1 million barrels per […]

Kuwait Seeks Oil Output at 43-Year High as Freeze Talks Loom

13 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait Oil Co. will soon offer contracts for offshore rigs and support services to drill its first undersea wells as the Persian Gulf nation tries to boost crude output to the highest level in more than four decades. Kuwait is targeting production of 3.165 million barrels a day later this year or in 2017, up from the current 3 million barrels a day, Chief Executive Officer Jamal Jaafar said Monday at a conference in Kuwait City. He made his comments a day after fellow OPEC member Iraq reported a record level of production and less than a week before some of the biggest oil-producing nations are to discuss freezing output to reduce a glut and shore up prices. […]

Kuwait Targets Oil Output at 43-Year High as Freeze Talks Loom

12 Apr 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait Oil Co. will soon offer contracts for offshore rigs and support services to drill its first undersea wells as the Persian Gulf nation tries to boost crude output to the highest level in more than four decades. Kuwait is targeting production of 3.165 million barrels a day later this year or in 2017, up from a current 3 million barrels a day, Chief Executive Officer Jamal Jaafar said Monday at a conference in Kuwait City. He made his comments a day after fellow OPEC member Iraq reported a record level of production and less than a week before some of the biggest oil-producing nations are to discuss freezing output to reduce a glut and shore up prices. “We are trying to make use of the low cost of production in Kuwait,” said Jaafar, whose company is the exploration and production arm of national energy group Kuwait Petroleum Corp. […]

The GCC Seeks Cohesion With Renewed Urgency

For the Gulf states, maintaining unity becomes all the more important amid economic slowdown. Click here to continue reading… Stratfor provides global awareness and guidance to individuals, governments and businesses around the world. We use a unique, intel-based approach to analyze world affairs. Copyright © 2016 Stratfor Global Intelligence, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 92529 – Austin, Texas 78709-2529, USA unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences | forward email

Kuwait’s OPEC governor says signs point to output freeze

5 Apr 2016   Kuwait, Oil Supply, OPEC

All signs suggest that a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries in Doha on April 17 will produce an initial agreement to freeze output, Kuwait’s OPEC governor Nawal Al-Fuzaia said on Tuesday. Fuzaia, giving a speech at the oil ministry, also said she expected the oil market to achieve a balance between supply and demand in the second half of this year. The Brent crude oil price, now at $37.42 a barrel, is expected to average between $45 and $60 in the second half of this year and until 2018, she added. Fuzaia did not elaborate on what signs pointed to an agreement in Doha, but said producers might agree to freeze their output at February levels, or at an average of January and February levels. The original proposal by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela was for a freeze at January levels. On Iran’s plans to […]

Kuwait’s Economic Overhaul Plan Faces Familiar Parliament Hurdle

15 Mar 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait’s plan to impose corporate taxes and cut fuel subsidies to reduce the OPEC member’s reliance on oil faces a familiar obstacle: a parliament that has resisted previous attempts to curtail one of the world’s most generous welfare systems. Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh on Monday submitted a six-point plan to the cabinet that aims in part to bolster revenue and cut public spending. Measures include selling stakes in state-owned entities, official media reported. The plan needs parliamentary approval. “In the current parliament there are no political blocks with defined economic plans or philosophies,” Abdullah al-Naibari, a former lawmaker, said a phone interview from Kuwait on Tuesday. “There are individuals with one aim, which is winning votes nothing else.” The plunge in crude prices have increased pressure on oil exporters from Saudi Arabia to Venezuela to shore up their public finances and find alternative sources of revenue. While Kuwait has […]

Kuwait refines oil pricing in battle for European customers

4 Mar 2016   Kuwait, Prices

Gulf OPEC member Kuwait has changed the way it prices oil for Europe, trading sources said, in a rare tactical move aimed at making its crude more competitive as the battle for customers between OPEC and non-OPEC rivals intensifies. The European market, long dominated by Russian oil supplies, has been neglected by major OPEC producers due to poor growth as they focused on expanding Asian markets. But as Russia moved aggressively into Asian markets and with the growing global oil glut heating up the fight for customers, OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq ramped up sales to Europe, taking on former Russian customers such as Poland and Sweden. Large sales from Iraq’s Kurdistan into Europe have added to the competition over the past six months and now Kuwait – a usually little-noticed seller in Europe – is both increasing sales and making its crude more attractive. “If […]

Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says

Gulf Cooperation Council countries may struggle to refinance $94 billion of debt in the next two years as the region faces slowing growth, rising rates and rating downgrades, according to HSBC Holdings Plc. Oil-rich GCC states have to refinance $52 billion of bonds and $42 billion of syndicated loans, mostly in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, HSBC said in an e-mailed report. The countries also face a fiscal and current account deficit of $395 billion over the period, it said. Expectations that these funding gaps “will be part financed through the sale of sovereign U.S. dollar debt will complicate efforts to refinance existing paper that matures over 2016 and 2017,” Simon Williams, HSBC’s chief economist for the Middle East, said in the report. “With the Gulf acting as a single credit market, the refinancing challenge will likely be much more broadly felt” and “compounded by tightening regional liquidity, […]

Veterans of 1980s oil glut say this price slump, too, will last

23 Feb 2016   Kuwait

When Sheikh Ali Khalifa al-Sabah of Kuwait thinks about today’s plunging oil prices, his mind drifts back to the mid-1980s, when he was forced to sell some of his country’s crude for as little as $5 a barrel. As Kuwait’s oil minister at the time, Sheikh Ali had to sell a cargo or two at that price just to keep up cash flow to a country that depended upon oil revenues. “It wasn’t because I wanted to; it was because it was the market price,” he recalls. “We really had no alternative.” For oil industry players active during the 1980s bust, the current drop in prices carries echoes of those desperate days. Interviews with some of those involved in that period reveal that while there is little consensus on how long prices will stay depressed, experience suggests […]

Kuwait: Military Leaders From Anti-Islamic State Coalition Meet

23 Feb 2016   Kuwait

High-ranking military officials from 30 nations fighting the Islamic State met Feb. 22 in Kuwait City, AFP reported. Security was tight at the meeting, where military leaders from the United States, Saudi Arabia, France, Iraq and other countries taking on the Islamic State discussed ways to cooperate in defeating the extremist group. Despite the coalition’s efforts, the Islamic State remains in control of large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and has expanded its presence in Libya. In taking on the Islamic State, the United States and its coalition allies must keep in mind that military force alone is not enough to defeat an insurgency .

Moody’s: Gulf banks pressured by oil

23 Feb 2016   Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait

Banks for members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, face pressure from low oil prices despite government support, Moody’s said. Crude oil prices continue to hold near 10-year lows as markets favor the supply side. A rally sparked by talks of a production freeze from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries faltered by the end of last week after U.S. data showed oil inventories at historically high levels. Moody’s Investors Service reported Monday the banks for GCC members might get squeezed by dual pressures from low oil prices and dwindling options for governments looking to arrest the slide. “Despite low oil prices and a high dependency on oil revenues […]

Kuwait Petroleum International says oil prices could reach $50 a barrel mid-2017

15 Feb 2016   Kuwait, Prices

Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) said on Saturday oil prices could reach a range of $50 to $60 a barrel by mid-2017, the official state news agency reported. The agency quoted the company’s top executive Bakheet al-Rashidi as saying prices could reach the range of $60 to $80 a barrel in three years’ time. “The global oil market is going through a correction and we have reached the bottom,” he was quoted as saying by the official Kuwait news agency, who added that Rashidi had made his comments at a company event in London. Rashidi attributed the drop in oil prices to excess supply in the market and slow demand from Asia, particularly China. Asked whether oil prices would ever reach the […]

Kuwait Petroleum International says oil prices could reach $50 a barrel mid-2017

13 Feb 2016   Kuwait, Prices

Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) said on Saturday oil prices could reach a range of $50 to $60 a barrel by mid-2017, the official state news agency reported. The agency quoted the company’s top executive Bakheet al-Rashidi as saying prices could reach the range of $60 to $80 a barrel in three years’ time. “The global oil market is going through a correction and we have reached the bottom,” he was quoted as saying by the official Kuwait news agency, who added that Rashidi had made his comments at a company event in London. Rashidi attributed the drop in oil prices to excess supply in the market and slow demand from Asia, particularly China. Asked whether oil prices would ever reach the […]

Kuwait Plans to Up Crude Output This Year

10 Feb 2016   Kuwait

Kuwait plans to increase its crude production by 150,000 barrels a day by the third quarter of the year despite the current slump in oil prices, the managing director of international marketing at Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said. Nabil Bouresli said Kuwait plans to sign new export deals with a number of European companies “with good prices and in large volumes” to support the planned hike in production. Kuwait currently produces around 3 million barrels of oil a day, and Mr. Bouresli’s comments suggest Kuwait is planning to stick to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ strategy of increasing production to maintain market share, despite calls from other members for a coordinated cut to prop up sagging crude prices. Gulf OPEC officials have previously said that the organization’s strategy is working, and they want to wait until the next scheduled OPEC meeting in June, when they will have a […]

Chevron Plans Close to 1,000 Layoffs of Saudi Staff in Kuwait Oil Spat

10 Nov 2015   Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

Chevron Corp. CVX -1.82 % is planning to lay off up to 1,000 employees working in the neutral zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as a dispute between those countries has halted all work on oil fields for several months, according to people familiar with the matter. Chevron has already significantly reduced the number of petroleum-development rigs in the neutral zone, a 2,230-square-mile oil-rich area that the countries jointly oversee. One of the people said the layoffs of Saudi Arabian staff had begun. “There is no point of keeping staff if the fields have been shut down for months,” the person said. A Chevron spokeswoman said she couldn’t “discuss specific details of our employees and contractors.” “Current difficulties in securing work permits and materials have impacted the company’s operations,” she said, forcing its local unit Saudi Arabian Chevron and Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. to stop onshore production in […]

Tecnicas Among Companies to Build $16 Billion Al Zour Refinery

14 Oct 2015   Kuwait

Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Tecnicas Reunidas SA and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. are among companies that signed contracts today to build Kuwait’s $16 billion Al Zour oil refinery, which will more than double the nation’s processing capacity. The refinery, with a capacity of 615,000 barrels a day, will raise Kuwait total refining capacity to 1.4 million barrels a day when completed in July 2019, Mohammad Ghazi Al-Mutairi, chief executive officer of state-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Co., said at the signing ceremony in Kuwait City. Al Zour refinery, valued at 4.87 billion dinars ($16 billion) will be integrated with a planned petrochemical complex which KNPC will discuss at an upcoming board meeting, he said. “Al Zour refinery is one of the world’s largest grass root plants being built from conceptual stage,” Al-Mutairi said. “Al Zour refinery along with other ongoing mega projects will change the landscape of the oil […]

Kuwait Says Oil Rout Heightens Need for Domestic Investments

25 Aug 2015   Kuwait

OPEC member Kuwait said the global plunge in oil and financial markets heightens the need for the country to press ahead with investment spending and diversify revenue sources. Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh briefed the cabinet on the market turmoil, the state-run Kuna news agency reported on Monday. Brent fell below $45 a barrel on Monday for the first time since 2009 on concerns a global supply glut may be worsening. The plunge in oil prices has sent stock markets in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, tumbling. Kuwait’s benchmark index dropped 1.6 percent on Monday to the lowest level since November 2012. The cabinet “stressed the need to implement” measures outlined by the Ministry of Finance to the parliament about diversifying sources of income, Kuna reported. Capital investment spending must also continue, it said. Kuwaiti officials are considering introducing corporate taxes for both local […]

Kuwait uncovers ‘terror’ cell’s giant arms cache

14 Aug 2015   Kuwait

Kuwaiti authorities say they have arrested three members of a “terrorist” cell and seized a huge arms cache they say was smuggled from Iraq and hidden beneath houses near the border. The Interior Ministry on Thursday said that the three Kuwaiti citizens have confessed to joining a group that was plotting to destabilise the country. Majority Sunni Muslim Kuwait has been on alert since a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shia mosque in the capital, Kuwait city, in late June, killing 27 people. The bombing was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. A total of 19,000 kg of ammunition, 144 kg of explosives, 68 weapons, and 204 grenades were seized from three properties near the Iraqi border, the ministry said. The ministry said the explosives were […]

Saudi, Kuwait to shut joint oilfield for two weeks: Kuwaiti source

12 May 2015   Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

A jointly operated onshore oilfield between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will shut for two weeks of maintenance, a Kuwaiti industry source said on Monday, a move apparently aimed at giving the Gulf OPEC allies more time to solve a long-standing dispute. The scheduled closure of the Wafra onshore oilfield, operated by a Saudi Arabian division of U.S. oil major Chevron, will start on Monday night or Tuesday, the source told Reuters. The source declined to be named because of the commercial sensitivity of the matter. “It is planned maintenance starting from tonight or tomorrow,” the source said, adding that production from the onshore fields in the Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait was about 190,000 barrels per day. Last month, Saudi Chevron told its partner, Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, that it planned to shut down Wafra after failing to resolve various disputes with Kuwait, mainly related to […]

Kuwait Seen Missing 2020 Oil-Production Target

26 Mar 2015   Kuwait

Stymied by political opposition to foreign oil companies, Kuwait oil officials have privately acknowledged the country won’t meet a goal of boosting oil-production capacity 25% by 2020, people familiar with the matter said. The delay throws a spotlight on the fractious politics of a rare Middle Eastern country where an elected parliament holds real power, and the constitution bans foreign ownership of natural resources. It also could affect Kuwait’s effort to expand into Asian markets during the current period of relatively low oil prices—as well as its ability to profit should the price of crude rise again. Oil exports from aging fields make up 60% of the country’s gross domestic product. Kuwait has made it a national priority to ramp up production capacity to 4 million barrels a day—from the current 3.2 million—to help it reach new markets. That would bring it on par with regional rivals like Iran, […]

Oil-rich Kuwait gets power back on after widespread blackout

12 Feb 2015   Kuwait

A country known for its vast energy wealth just couldn’t keep the lights on – at least for a short while. A sweeping blackout that struck the tiny but oil-rich Kuwait on Wednesday evening knocked out lights even at the international airport, brought out the amateur comedians on social media and got lawmakers Thursday asking why so much of the OPEC nation suddenly went dark. The power cut happened when a technical fault struck a transmission line linked to the al-Subbyia power station, according to Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Abdulaziz al-Ibrahim whose remarks were carried by the official Kuwait News Agency. Residents in the car-loving country reported unusually thick traffic jams caused by darkened traffic lights. Emergency measures used to bring power back online following the outage included the use of an electrical link to the rest of the six-member Gulf Cooperation […]

Chevron Unit Said to Cut Output From Saudi-Kuwaiti Oil Fields

9 Feb 2015   Kuwait

Oil workers on a Chevron drilling platform near the Saudi Arabian border in Kuwait. Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and Kuwait, the group’s third-biggest member, will join other OPEC states to assess market conditions and production levels at a June 5 meeting in Vienna. Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images (Bloomberg) — Crude production dropped 20 percent since October at a venture that a Chevron Corp. unit operates in the Wafra fields, which Kuwait is developing with Saudi Arabia, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Daily output dropped to 180,000 barrels from about 200,000 barrels last month and 225,000 barrels in October, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Two rigs are halted and more may be idled in the coming months because Saudi Arabian Chevron Inc. faces problems operating wells due to […]