‘We are at present producing 1.966 million barrels a day [b/d] and have spare capacity of 400,000 b/d. Additional volumes can be pumped whenever the market wants it,’ Ahmed al-Arbeed, KOC’s chairman and managing director, said in a late-January interview with MEED. ‘Our target is to produce 4 million b/d by 2020, in line with the KPC strategy.’

The bulk of the targeted increase in capacity will come from the northern and western oil fields through the construction of two new gathering centres (GCs) and the expansion of two existing GCs. Secondary reservoir management techniques at oil-producing fields and implementation of gas lift and water injection schemes will also be carried out.

A US/South Korean team of Fluor Daniel and SK Engineering & Construction is expected to soon start mobilising at the Rawdhatain oil field to carry out repair and upgrade work at GC 15 and gas booster station 130. The team was awarded an estimated $240 million contract for repair works following the January 2002 explosion at the northern oil field (MEED 8:2:02).

‘Safety is an important factor for us. After Rawdhatain, we have started work on a project to completely replace the underground crude, gas and condensate pipelines. They will all be brought to the surface,’ Al-Arbeed said.

Strict implementation of safety procedures will be part of KOC’s programme to achieve greater efficiency in 2003. The other aspects include the introduction of new technology and a greater utilisation of its budget. ‘We have made alliances with Microsoft, Schlumberger and Halliburton[all US-based] for utilising advanced technology. We wish to expand our technology base,’ Al-Arbeed said.

KOC is looking to increase its capital expenditure on projects. ‘We utilised 29 per cent of our funds in 2000/01,’ he said. ‘Last [fiscal] year, it was 40 per cent. We plan to end the current year at 50 per cent.’ KPC has allocated $2,500 million to KOC for spending on projects in 2002/03. ‘We are looking to be more efficient and reduce the delays faced in project implementation.’

The efficiency drive extends to streamlining KOC’s organisational structure. In February 2002, seven new directorates were set up. They cover: north Kuwait; southeast Kuwait; administration; west Kuwait; Project Kuwait; technical services; and exploration and production development. ‘We have gained more focus . KOC has changed from a functional to an asset management company,’ Al-Arbeed said.