KUWAIT’S current crude production stands at 2 million barrels a day (b/d), in line with its OPEC quota. However, government officials calculate that the call on Kuwaiti crude will rise to 3 million b/d in 2005 and are enhancing production facilities accordingly. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) deputy chairman Nader Sultan said on 29 June that the company was aiming to increase capacity to 3 million b/d by 2000.

In the upstream sector, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is expanding and enhancing production facilities. China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC) has started construction work on gathering centres (GCs) 27 and 28 in the western fields of Umm Gudair and Minagish. CPECC overcame stiff competition to win the $390 million contract last year. The project will boost the capacity of the western fields to 500,000 b/d from 110,000 b/d. Construction of GC 25 is expected to be tendered before the end of the year.

Italy’s TPL, which lost out to the Chinese on the GC work, has picked up a KD 7.86 million ($26.3 million) contract to supply and install control systems at seven gathering centres and boosters stations. The UK’s Costain is low bidder at KD 4.37 million ($14.58 million) to improve and modify vapour dehydration units at booster stations 130, 140, 150 and 170.

International firms are now eagerly awaiting the award of the key project management contract with KOC. International Bechtel has submitted a low bid of KD 22.86 million ($76.28 million) for the five-year contract, which begins when Parsons Engineering Corporation (PEC) current contract expires at the end of September.

In the downstream sector, work is continuing on the $2,000 million Equate petrochemicals complex which is due to come on stream in 1997. The plant will produce 650 tonnes a year (t/y) of ethane, 450,000 t/y of polyethylene and 350,000 t/y of ethylene glycol.

At the end of June, bids were submitted for the retendered project to design and construct an acid gas removal plant (AGRP) at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery. South Korea’s Sunkyong Engineering & Construction Company was low bidder (see Kuwait).