Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah has said world demand for oil will rise by 25 million barrels per day (bpd) to hit 100 million bpd by 2010, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"World demand for oil is expected to grow by two percent annually during the coming 20 years. Consumption in 2010 is expected to rise by 25 million bpd to hit 100 million bpd," Sheikh Saud said, quoted in Al-Anba daily.
He said that, based on plans to seek the assistance of foreign oil majors to develop the emirate's northern oilfields, Kuwait's production capacity will reach three million bpd in 2005.
Current production capacity is estimated at around 2.2 million bpd and is expected to rise by another 400,000 bpd by the middle of next year after the commissioning of two huge gathering centers. Kuwait's OPEC production quota was increased to 2.101 million bpd as of October 1.
The seven-billion-dollar investment, known as Kuwait Project, aims at doubling the output of four oilfields near the border with Iraq to 900,000 bpd with the help of international oil companies (IOCs).
The project has met with opposition in parliament for fear that the emirate's lifeline may rest in foreign hands.
Sheikh Saud said that no contract has been signed with any foreign company for the project, as the government was awaiting parliament to approve a bill on the issue.
The announcement of a shortlist of IOCs qualified to be invited for the project, which was scheduled for September, was further delayed, but Sheikh Saud said the issue is almost complete.
Reports have indicated that Texaco, Chevron, ExxonMobil, TotalFinaElf, Shell and BP Amoco were selected as the main operator companies. Several other companies were selected as non-operators.
But contrary to what was earlier announced, Sheikh Saud said Kuwait will not accept a consortium by all the IOCs to carry out the project. "No more than two operator companies will be allowed to form a consortium ... in order to encourage competition," he said.
The majors are to be paid by a fee per barrel of oil extracted for developing the fields, not through production-sharing agreements.
Foreign oil firms in Kuwait, which holds around 10 percent of global oil reserves, have previously been restricted to technical service agreements.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)