Kuwait — one of the strongest supporters of the Saudi-led OPEC supply-cut deal and a member of the monitoring committee on the production reduction – is boasting that its own oil output has reached 2.75 million bpd, above the targeted level under the cartel’s agreement.
According to remarks by the CEO of Kuwait Oil Company, Jamal Jaafar, reported by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on Thursday, the total production of the country has reached 2.75 million bpd.
In the OPEC deal to cut oil supply to balance the markets and lift prices, Kuwait pledged in November to reduce its production to 2.707 million bpd between January and June, shaving off 131,000 bpd from its October reference level production.
As early as in the first week of January, Kuwaiti officials said that production was already cut to around 2.707 million bpd, in line with the targeted amount under the deal.
But then official figures started coming in, and OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report from earlier this week showed that Kuwait’s output was 2.718 million bpd in January, according to secondary sources. Kuwait self-reported production was 2.710 million bpd, with both figures above the targeted level.
Although Kuwait (or Saudi Arabia, or OPEC) may not see the 11,000-bpd-plus production as ‘non-compliance’ but only as nitpicking, it’s strange that Kuwait is boasting this 2.75-million-bpd output now, considering that it was Kuwait’s Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq who called upon the non-OPEC producers that had signed up to the deal to fulfill their commitments.
Kuwait is repeatedly saying that it is and will be sticking to the OPEC cuts, but it is also looking beyond the end of the agreement. Kuwait Oil Company’s Jaafar told Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday that the country will be pursuing a capacity expansion plan to raise its production capacity to 3.65 million bpd by 2021 from current capacity of 3.15 million bpd.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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