Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has discovered an oil field in the northwest of the country, said the company’s chairman and managing director on 23 December.

Sami al-Rushaid was attending celebrations to mark the company’s 75th anniversary and said the unnamed field would be able to produce 80,000 barrels a day of crude oil and 110 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.

Kuwait’s overall production capacity reached 3.12 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil in 2009, said Al-Rushaid. Domestic oil fields were capable of producing 2.85 million b/d and the country’s share of production in the Neutral Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was topping 270,000 barrels a day.

KOC wants to boost overall oil production capacity to 4 million b/d by 2020 by adding a series of new oil fields and boosting production at new reservoirs. The plan faces pitfalls however, according to analysts and senior industry executives.

A key component of the plan is producing 900,000 b/d of extremely viscous heavy oil from northern oil fields by 2020. However, Al-Rushaid recently said this has now been cut to 270,000 b/d. KOC declined to say where new production might be added to make up the shortfall.