KUFPEC seeks acquisitions in Southeast Asia and elsewhere

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co.

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (KUFPEC) is currently seeking acquisitions in Southeast Asia to meet output targets, according to KUFPEC CEO Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah. The state-controlled company has three blocks in Vietnam and one in China, where it would like to do more, he said. The CEO also noted that the company is considering North American and shale opportunities, as well.

KUFPEC, a unit of state Kuwait Petroleum Corp., plans output of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2020, from almost 80,000 now. The company also seeks to increase reserves to 650 million barrels by 2020 from just under 400 million barrels currently.

KUFPEC operates in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East, which makes up about half of its production. It has two exploration licenses in Pakistan and Australia and recently won a license in Yemen. The company, which last year bought a Norwegian company, agreed on a $750 million bank loan to fund expansion. In March, Kuwait Petroleum injected 1 billion dinars ($3.5 billion) of capital into KUFPEC to fund growth.

The company is seeking exploration licenses that allow it to operate discoveries, and it plans to run 20 percent of its own production capacity by 2020, according to the CEO. He noted that KUFPEC is a key business for Kuwait Petroleum and is no longer a candidate for privatization, with profits expected to rise this year from about $200 million in the previous period.

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