Kuwait's prime minister said in remarks published on Monday he was confident that the country's legislature would pass a long-delayed plan to explore northern oilfields with the help from foreign firms.
The plan, crucial to plans to raise output capacity have been delayed for years by lawmakers who say the plan could give foreign firms control over the Opec exporter's oil wealth.
Kuwait, which sits on around 10 per cent of the world's oil reserves, plans to raise its capacity to 4 million barrels per day oil by 2020. It produced about 2.55 million barrels per day in December according to a Reuters survey.
"The recently approved laws like the law on privatising Kuwait Airways ... are important and I am sure that other new laws will also be approved as easily," Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad al-Sabah said in an interview with the Arab Times newspaper.
"Some of the important laws which will be sent for approval are the Companies Law, the Stock Exchange Market law, in addition to the Northern Oilfields law," he added.
Kuwait, the world's seventh-largest oil exporter, estimated the cost of the project at $8.5 billion three years ago. The plan envisages exploring four oilfields in the north of the country.
"I am very optimistic these days because of the conducive atmosphere in the parliament," Sheikh Nasser said. (Reuters)
Kuwait PM says optimistic on north oilfields plan