Two foreign oil companies competing to develop Kuwait's northern oilfields were allowed access Monday to specialised oil data for the seven-billion-dollar project, Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) said.
"Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) opened Monday the data room of Kuwait's project seeking the assistance of international oil companies (IOCs) to develop the northern oilfields," KPC said in a statement. KOC is one of oil conglomerate KPC's several affiliates responsible for oil production.
Shell and ExxonMobil were the first two IOCs to access information on Monday after signing "confidentiality agreements" and paying a fee, KPC said.
Opening the data rooms is part "of the second phase of the project which includes sending the Initial Protocol Process (IPP) and signing the confidentiality agreement," it said.
The state-owned KPC sent IPPs on January 3 to nine operator and 15 non-operator IOCs which were prequalified by the Supreme Petroleum Council and endorsed by the emirate's cabinet.
Although no official announcement has named the IOCs, it is widely believed that, along with Shell and ExxonMobil, KPC has prequalified BP Amoco, ENI, TotalFinaElf, Chevron, Texaco, Conoco and Phillips as operators for the project.
Phase three of the project will involve IOCs submitting development plans in accordance with terms laid down by Kuwait, KPC said.
The oil sector will then evaluate the plans and send its recommendations to the Central Tenders Committee (CTC), the government body that must approve government contracts worth $325,000 and more.
Phases four and five of the project involve presenting detailed bids. On Saturday, 29 MPs called for a debate on the IPPs sent out to oil majors and the process of opening the data room, charging that the government intended to sign agreements with the IOCs without parliament's approval.
But KPC stressed Sunday there was no intention of acting unilaterally or signing any agreements until the project met consitutional demands.
Kuwait, whose OPEC quota from February 1 dropped to 2.021 million barrels per day (bpd), aims to double production capacity of its northern oilfields to 900,000 bpd by 2005, and insists that this can only be achieved through foreign assistance. —AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )