DUBAI: Kuwait’s oil minister said Sunday OPEC probably won’t change its production levels when it meets next week.
Sheik Ahmed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah made the comments to state news agency KUNA, which paraphrased him as saying “it was unlikely the bloc would change output strategy when it meets in Angola on Dec. 22.
The 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which includes Kuwait, has not changed its output targets since it cut production at the end of last year to buoy collapsing oil prices. The bloc supplies roughly 35 percent of the world’s crude.
The oil minister of OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia said earlier this month he thought current global oil prices were “perfect.
Al-Sabah also said Kuwait plans to spend nearly 25 billion dinars ($87.64 billion) on new capital projects in the oil sector through 2030, according to KUNA.
Few details were provided, though al-Sabah said the country wanted to build a new refinery to accommodate increased demand and “cover for the other older refineries in case of failure or need for maintenance work.
Kuwait’s development minister said in October the government planned to revive the $14 billion refinery project to build its fourth oil refinery, which was scrapped in March amid corruption allegations. Japanese and South Korean companies were going to build the 615,000 barrel a day refinery. It was to come on line 2012.
Iraq will be a “big player at OPEC’s meeting in Angola later this month over its allocated crude production quota following a string of deals with oil majors, a senior US embassy official said on Sunday.
Baghdad set ambitious output targets at a Friday-Saturday auction of Iraqi oil field contracts to foreign energy firms.
“They’re going to have to negotiate with their OPEC partners on that one, the official at the embassy in Baghdad told reporters, on condition of anonymity, referring to Iraq’s production aims and its OPEC quota.
“They’re going to be a big player that wants to come back to the table, so they’re going to have to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and the other OPEC members.
Iraq currently produces around 2.5 million barrels of oil per day (bpd).
But after awarding seven contracts to foreign energy firms at the auction, following three more deals sealed since a first auction in June, it aims to ramp up output to 12 million bpd within seven years.
Since economic sanctions of the Saddam Hussein era after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq has been the only OPEC member not bound by the OPEC quota system and the cartel’s overall output ceiling of 24.84 million bpd.
The US official added there was still time for OPEC to reach accord on Iraq’s quota, as it would be several years before the country will be in position to hike output to its targeted levels.
“This isn’t like suddenly tomorrow (Iraq is) going to be producing 12 million barrels, the official said. -Agencies