Feb. 22, 2016


Hashem S. Al Hashem

Kuwait

Hashem S. Al Hashem

Former CEO, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)

TBY talks to Hashem S. Al Hashem, Former CEO of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), on major projects the company has undertaken, human resources in the country, and future strategies.

BIO

Hashem S. Al Hashem was the CEO of KOC from May 2013 to January 2016. He joined KOC in 1987 and has held a variety of posts for the company, including Superintendent, Head of Strategic Planning, Manager of Field Developments, and Deputy Managing Director. Hashem also serves as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Kuwaiti Oil Tankers Company (TOTC). He earned his BSc in Chemical Engineering from Kuwait University in 1987.

What are the major ongoing projects for KOC currently?

KOC is implementing a comprehensive capital investment program for the next five years that will allow us to increase our production capacity in line with our 2020 plan. There are several projects that are key to realizing this aim, one being the implementation of an intensive drilling program of an estimated 400-500 wells to be drilled per year for the next five years, including application of the latest drilling technologies to maximize recovery from our reservoirs. Our drilling rig fleet at KOC has been increased in order to cope with this increase and efficiencies of our drilling operations are being optimized to achieve even more of an increase in the future. We have also embarked on two major field development programs focused on water injection plans in West Kuwait in order to maintain the current 500 mbpd production capacity of the area and increase it beyond current levels to 550 mbpd. In addition to that, there are three major development programs ongoing in the South and East Kuwait area, including a major water injection facility and a new gathering center to assist in S&EK of that area, maintaining its 1.7 billion bpd production capacity target. In the North Kuwait area, we have started three major development programs, including three new gathering centers and another water injection facility to increase the conventional oil production capacity to 1 million bpd. We have begun the development of Phase I of the Heavy Oil program to reach production of 60 million barrels in Lower Fars reservoir, a program that includes the HO production facility and transit pipeline, as well as the associated export facilities. We are moving even closer towards our goal of bringing oil production to more than 350 mbpd and non-associated gas to 1 billion cubic feet per day by 2022 with the development of the second and third phases of the North Kuwait Jurassic reserves, a major step forward in our long term strategy. In the interim, KOC is developing three Jurassic production facilities to expedite the development of the Jurassic reserves during 2017.

What role does international cooperation play in KOC's strategy?

International cooperation is important for KOC to achieve its strategic goals. As we move to develop heavy oil and non-associated gas production, and as we enter offshore exploration and development and move towards the tertiary production techniques in our conventional crude oil reservoirs, the participation of IOCs through Enhanced Technical Service Agreements (ETSA) will add significant value that will support KOC in the long term. We already have an ETSA with an IOC to support the development of non-associated gas production in the Jurassic reservoirs located in North Kuwait, and we look forward to starting additional ETSAs with other international companies to support other projects within KOC in the near future.

What are the changing employment demands of the oil and gas business, and where do you see the greatest need for further human capital development in Kuwait's oil industry?

Future challenges appear in the rising demand for the application of new technologies, additional drilling activities, and increasing well surveillance activities and operations. This demands more employment in the technical fields. The greatest need lies in the demand of experienced employees, such as the ones who have experience in EOR processes. Our need for experienced manpower is directly proportional to the growing capital investments and complexity of our operations, which is becoming more and more demanding in the coming few years.

How do you see supply and demand evolving in the oil industry globally in the near future, and what role will Kuwait's oil play in the global energy mix?

We expect that global oil consumption will continue increasing through the coming years, reaching around 110 mbpd by 2040 from a current consumption of approximately 92 mbpd. The main consumption growth will take place in India, China, and the Middle East; regional OPEC countries will play a significant role in providing the required increment in production capacity to supply this oil demand increase. Our advantage of having one of the lowest oil production and development costs in the world, together with the continued implementation of our strategic plan, will keep placing Kuwait as one of the most important oil producers in the region and worldwide. We will continue building our production capacity as per our 2020 strategy to ensure that we continue maintaining our position as a reliable crude oil supplier to the international market in the short and long term.

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