Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) plans to implement projects worth a total of $54bn over the next few years, including the long delayed new refinery project and an upgrade of the country’s existing refineries.

Farouk al-Zanki, appointed CEO of KPC in October this year by Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, outlined the state-run corporation’s future plans to delegates at MEED’s Kuwait Projects 2010 conference on 29 November.

Kuwait is seeking to raise oil production to 4 million barrels a day by 2020, from a current level of more than 3 million barrels a day, ensuring adequate spare capacity to counter any supply disruptions and a supply cushion to meet unexpected demand spikes.

KPC is also planning to significantly increase the use of natural gas in power production and water desalination, freeing up petroleum products for export. The commercial production of gas from Kuwait’s northern fields began at the end of 2008 at an average rate of 130 million cubic feet a day (cf/d). Al-Zanki hopes to reach a peak level of production at 1 billion cf/d by 2015. 

“We are to implement major plans to expand local refining capacity to 1.4 million barrels a day and to produce high quality refined petroleum products that are suitable for international markets, in line with global product specifications,” said Al-Zanki.

Kuwait currently has a refining capacity of 800,000 barrels a day. The planned fourth refinery at Al-Zour has faced criticism because of its cost, which was estimated at up to $15bn in 2008.

The $18bn plan to revamp the country’s existing refineries at Mina al-Ahmadi, Mina Abdullah and Shuaiba, known as the Clean Fuels Project (CFP) has also been stalled. The timeframe for the two major downstream projects is unknown.