‘Two wells were drilled in the 1970s and the findings were encouraging,’ KOC’s chairman and managing director, Ahmed al-Arbeed, told MEED on 11 December. ‘We want to explore further and formulate a plan for full-field development.’

In 1995, a team of Geco-Prakla of Europe, along with the US’ Western Atlas,carried out a 3-D seismic survey over a large area including the new concession. ‘We have evidence of the existence of a single reservoir, which connects both onshore and offshore areas,’ he said.

The Medina development will represent KOC’s first significant effort to drill for crude oil at an offshore site. The drilling will last for six months and the successful contractor is expected to drill to a depth of about 6,000 feet.

‘We drilled in the 1980s at an offshore site in the Gulf,’ Al-Arbeed said. ‘But work had to be stopped due to objections from Iran. The concession is spread beyond the Kuwait-Iran maritime border.’

State-owned KOC is responsible for the exploration and production of crude oil and its export. It operates five major fields in the north and a similar number in south and west Kuwait with total production capacity of 2.4 million barrels a day (b/d). Development of the field is part of KOC’s plans to increase production capacity to 4 million b/d by 2004 (MEED 14:6:02).

Burgan, in the southwest, is the most prolific oil field, with capacity of 1.35 million b/d. It is followed by Rawdhatain, in the north, at 600,000 b/d. However, production at the latter has been seriously curtailed following the late-January explosion (MEED 8:2:02).

The award of an estimated $240 million contractfor the Rawdhatain repairs is imminent to a US/South Korean team of Fluor Danieland SK Engineering & Construction. The scope of works on the 24-30-month contract will include the restoration of gathering centre 15 and the supply and installation of a new gas booster station.

Along with the development of oil, KOC is also focusing on gas. In June, KOC announced the drilling of the first well in the north (Kuwait, MEED Special Report, 28:6:02, pages 24-25).

‘It [the well] is located in Rawdhatain. We have since drilled to deeper levels of up to 10,000-11,000 feet,’ Al-Arbeed said. ‘The GOR [gas/oil ratio] is high.’

GOR is the volume of associated gas produced from each barrel of crude oil. ‘The GOR at Burgan is 500 cubic feet of gas, but at Rawdhatain it has tested at 2,000 cubic feet. The initial tests have proved there is more gas than we anticipated. We plan to drill two more wells and formulate a development plan,’ says Al-Arbeed.

At present, KOC produces about 800 million-900 million cubic feet a day of associated gas.