Kuwait and the future of oil production

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Wed Nov 09 2005 - 07:13:22 EST

I am in Houston for the Soc. Exploration Geophysicists meeting. I attended
an interesting talk on Kuwait yesterday. Several comments relate to the
issue of whether or not the Middle East can continue to provide oil to fuel
the world. Kuwait today produces 2.4 million barrels per day, or about 3%
of the world's production. Sitting between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, it is a
microcosm of the issues faced by their two bigger neighbors.


The speaker noted that there had been 60 years of exploration inside their
country. That tells you that it is unlikely that large oil bearing
structures are still undiscovered.


Secondly, he noted that the focus today was on the lower cretaceous
fractured reservoirs. I was surprised by that. I worked fractured reservoirs
twice in my life and the rule is that in general 90% of the oil that will
come out of such a well will come out in the first year of production.
Currently there is no oil production in the Lower Cretaceous except in the
southern part of the country where it produces 50,000 bbl/day (quite a small
amount of oil compared to the rest of the country.


So, why is the Kuwait Oil Company looking is such low quality reservoirs?
The guy said that it was because there is a 'lack of Kuwait-scale
opportunities elsewhere". That phrase on his slide confirmed for me much of
what I have heard elsewhere about the Middle East. The new opportunities
the Sauds are bringing on line are abandoned fields which already produced
100 million bbl of oil. That is not a good sign that they can carry out
their promise to increase production to 15 million bbl/day.


He also noted that the Kuwait province is largely a 'mature province'.


In the Q&A I asked how much production they expected to add with this target
given the rapid production decline in fractured reservoirs. That was when I
learned that they get 50,000 bbl/day in the south but then he noted that
they didn't really have much production and weren't sure it would work in
the north.
Received on Wed Nov 9 07:14:43 2005

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