KUWAIT: Minister of Oil Khaled Al-Fadhel is seen at an event at the oil ministry yesterday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: Minister of Oil Khaled Al-Fadhel said oil extraction in a trial phase was to begin at Wafra and Khafji oilfields yesterday, and the volume of the pumped crude will be gradually increased “to normal levels”. Fadhel, in remarks to journalists on the sidelines of inaugurating a program for transitioning to electronic services at the ministry of oil, said oil production will be restored to regular levels by end of this year.

The volume of joint output in the divided zone will reach, ahead of yearend, nearly 550,000 barrels per day, Fadhel said, noting that production at Wafra has reached 140,000 per day, while output at Khafji reached 250,000 bpd – constituting Kuwait’s share. He indicated at an article in the agreement and the memo of understanding between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on starting studies on work at the Durra field, adding that this issue will warrant studies and debates at the official level in Kuwait.

Responding to a question on oil strategy, Fadhel said the strategy was approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council, noting that it aims at boosting output to four million barrels per day by 2040. On the process of integration and restructuring in the oil sector, the minister said it was proceeding according to a plan that will be announced at the appropriate time, adding that it will be phased and ultimately aims at establishing a single company and three sectors.

Fadhel affirmed Kuwait’s adherence to its output quota as set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), noting that the reduced oil output will not affect the state budget, “as the cut in Kuwaiti oil production will be made up by price hikes”. Answering a question on impact of the coronavirus outbreak on oil prices, the minister indicated at various statements that have been made by ministers of OPEC member states, indicating at an intention to trim global output for sake of restoring balance to the global markets.

The minister said in his address at the inauguration ceremony that the ministry worked in the past months to set up a program for digitizing all its tasks. The oil ministry will launch a new motto in harmony with Kuwait’s 2035 vision. It has been linked with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for exchanging technical information. Ministry Undersecretary Sheikh Dr Nimr Fahd Al-Malek Al-Sabah said in a statement at the gathering that the ministry had overhauled its email system. – KUNA