KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, Apr 7 – Kuwait’s state-run oil firm has signed contracts to import 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year through 2020 to meet the emirate’s needs, a company official said on Thursday.
OPEC member Kuwait is rich in crude oil but its natural gas production is too small to meet its needs, which surge during the heat of the summer when power consumption soars.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp. signed contracts with British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell to buy one million tonnes a year from each company, its marketing chief, Nabil Buresli, told the official KUNA news agency.
It signed a third contract with Qatar Gas to import half a million tonnes a year.
Buresli did not provide details of the value of the contracts.
He said that after 2020, KPC plans to sign long-term contracts of up to 15 years to import 6-7 million tonnes of LNG a year.
Kuwait last week inked a $2.93 billion contract with three South Korean firms for the construction of a new LNG import terminal that is due for completion in the first quarter of 2021.
The project, to be built at the Al-Zour refinery near the border with Saudi Arabia, was awarded to Hyundai Engineering Co., Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Korea Gas Corporation.
Kuwait sits on 101.5 billion barrels of crude — equivalent to around 7.0 percent of the world’s proven reserves, according to the latest OPEC figures — and pumps around 3.0 million barrels per day.
But it is dependent on imports of LNG for both power generation and its petrochemicals industry.