Kuwait announced a 655-million-dollar project on Sunday to boost oil export capacity to three million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2003.
"The project was approved Saturday by the board of directors of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)," the chairman of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Abdullatif al-Turah, told a press conference at KOC headquarters in Al-Ahmadi.
"The cost of the project will exceed 200 million dinars (655 million dollars) and will take three to three-and-a-half years to complete," Turah added.
The project, expected to be offered in a public tender soon, will expand the existing export terminal facilities in the south of the country around the oil town of Al-Ahmadi.
It also includes building a huge pumping complex and boosting the number of terminals and power generation, Turah said.
KPC is Kuwait's oil conglomerate, which owns several oil companies inside and outside the emirate. KOC is one of KPC's subsidiaries responsible for production operations in the Gulf state.
Decisions taken by KPC, which is headed by Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser Sabah, must be approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) and by the cabinet.
Kuwait has currently an estimated production capacity of between 2.4 and 2.5 million bpd.
But the emirate's production capacity is expected to reach at least three million bpd by 2005 after a number of projects, Turah said, declining to disclose the current export and production capacity.
"Production capacity would rise by 400,000 bpd after completing a project to construct two major gathering centers in the western oilfields. The first would be completed in December and the second in February 2001," he said.
KOC is also studying plans to raise production of the emirate's largest field of Burgan from 1.5 million bpd to 1.7 million bpd.
Kuwait aims to double production to 900,000 bpd by 2005 from the northern oilfields through a seven-billion-dollar project involving international oil companies -- AL-AHMADI, Kuwait (AFP)
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