OPEC-member Kuwait announced two large oil and gas finds on Monday, including an estimated 35 trillion cubic feet of gas that propels the Gulf Arab state into the ranks of natural gas producers.
Energy Minster Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah said an estimated 10 to 13 billion barrels of light crude oil was also found in the north of the country, raising its petroleum reserves by 10 percent.
Answering a question on the country’s crude oil reserves, Sheikh Ahmad said: “If we spoke before, about 90 (billion) barrels and now we speak of light oil of 10 to 13 (billion barrels) that means a 10 percent increase (in reserves).”
Sheikh Ahmad reiterated that a report in January by industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly stating that Kuwait’s oil reserves are only half those officially stated was inaccurate.
“The information that has appeared is not accurate and does not reflect the truth about Kuwait’s reservoirs and reserves,” he said adding that the PIW report was based on one document which does not paint the full picture.
He told a news conference the finds of oil, gas and unspecified large amounts of condensates were made in northern fields. The gas was discovered in the fields of Um-Naga and Sabriya.
“For the first time we have found gas in encouraging quantities,” Sheikh Ahmad said.
Officials at the state upstream energy arm, Kuwait Oil Company, said the initial phases of actual gas production will start by the end of 2007 after completion of the necessary infrastructure.
“We can now say that Kuwait has entered the gas sector as a gas producing nation,” said Sheikh Ahmad, whose country is a key exporter of crude oil.
Kuwait, which sits on about a tenth of the world’s proven oil reserves, had held talks on buying gas from Iran and Qatar in recent years.
“This find makes us optimistic about the future of Kuwait in the gas sector,” said the minister, adding that studies showed the fields have a 60-70 percent recovery factor.
KOC chairman Farouk al-Zanki said: “We can say that we have a big gas field, high quality condensates as well as associated gas.”
Zanki said the gas can be used for power generation but also in industries such as petrochemicals due to its high quality.