Kuwait will invest KD35bn ($115bn) in its energy sector over the next five years, according to Nizar al-Adsani, deputy chairman and chief executive at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

“We anticipate expenditure of KD35bn for the next five years starting from 2017, of which 59 per cent is committed to specifically identified projects, exploration and production constitutes 8 per cent, while refining and petrochemicals projects constitutes 31 per cent,” he said.

Al-Adsani was speaking at the Petroleum Economist GCC Strategy Forum in Kuwait.

A total of $6bn will be invested in the first phase of upstream development to explore reserves of heavy oil, with 60,000 barrels a day (b/d) targeted by 2018, he added.

Al-Adsani said Kuwait was open to “assistance from major oil companies” to deliver projects and meet targets.

Kuwait has an estimated 13 billion b/d of heavy crude reserves in the northern Raudhatain, Sabriya, Abdali and Ratqa fields as well as the Divided Zone, shared with Saudi Arabia, from where production has stalled since 2014.

Kuwait produced 2.8 million b/d in November 2016, according to Opec secondary sources, before committing to production cuts for six months starting January.

It plans to increase its oil output to 4 million b/d by 2020.