Three groups of IOCs submitted development plans in October for the estimated $4,000 million scheme. They are: ChevronTexaco Corporationof the US, with France’s Total, Petro-Canada, Russia’s Sibneft and Sinopec of China; BPof the UK, with the US’ Occidental Petroleum Corporationand ONGC Videshand Indian Oil Corporation, both of India; and ExxonMobil Corporationof the US, with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Conoco-Phillips, also of the US, and Denmark’s Maersk Oil & Gas.

The successful consortium will develop the project through the implementation of an operating service agreement. Kuwait is producing close to its sustainable capacity of 2.3 million barrels a day of crude. The government expects to earn more than $25,000 million from oil exports in 2004 (see Economy).