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[DOHA] Kuwait plans to invest around US$40 billion to boost its oil production capacity to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020, an executive from Kuwait's state oil company (KOC) said on Thursday.
The OPEC state has a crude oil production capacity of around 3.4 million bpd and its production is in the range of 3 million bpd, Saeed al-Shaheen, manager of well surveillance at KOC, told Reuters at an industry event.
"There are plans to spend US$40 billion to lift the capacity up to 4 million by 2020 and maintain that figure till 2030," he said.
He added that currently low oil prices would not have an impact on Kuwait's investments to expand its capacity. "We are a state oil company, we always look at the long-term picture and at a time when the oil price is low, it's more economical to invest in expansion."
This week, Kuwait's oil minister, Ali Al Omair, told the state news agency that he hoped the oil price would not drop to a level that's harmful for the economy, however for the time being Mr al-Shaheen says there are no plans for KOC to trim production from 3 million bpd.
"Everyone is over-producing these days. There are no plans for us to cut from the current level, if there are any cuts, it'll be next year."
Despite rising world demand, OPEC expects demand for its oil to fall in 2015 as higher supply outside the group, particularly in the United States due to its shale energy production, squeezes OPEC's market share.
OPEC members including Kuwait have said a cut in output at an OPEC meeting set for Nov 27 in Vienna is unlikely, but privately delegates are starting to talk of the need for some action, although they warn an agreement will not be easy to reach.