Kuwait plans to increase the volume of crude oil exports to China to 500,000 barrels a day (bpd) in three years, an executive at the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said Saturday.
On Monday, Kuwait concluded a new 10-year deal with a China's Sinopec Corp to nearly double its supplies by offering to ship the oil and sell it on a more competitive cost-and-freight basis.
"With new and mutual cooperation between the two parties, there is a good sign of increasing the volume of our crude oil exports to China up to 500,000 bpd in the next three years," Nasser Al-Mudhaf, KPC's Managing Director of International Marketing told Kuwait's News Agency (KUNA).
Under the deal signed this week, KPC will initially export 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, which would amount to 15 percent of Kuwaiti petroleum exports and estimated to be worth $120 billion.
According to Al-Mudhaf, the contract is not related to an ongoing joint project between KPC and Sinopec for the construction of a 300,000 bpd refinery. Feedstock for the plant will be also supplied by KPC when it goes on-stream.
"If the joint venture materializes, China-bound shipments may hit 800,000 bpd," he added.
State news agency KUNA, quoting government data, reported in July that Kuwait's crude oil exports to China in the first half of this year stood at 3.87 million tonnes, equivalent to around 157,000 bpd.
Most of Kuwait's exports go to Asia. The Gulf Arab state pumped 2.81 million bpd in July, according to a Reuters survey.
(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Rosalind Russell)