Chevron can resume Saudi-Kuwait oilfield quickly if needed: CEO

Kevin Crowley September 17, 2019

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) - Chevron could start oil production “relatively quickly” in the so-called partitioned zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait if required to by both nations, CEO Mike Wirth said in an interview with CNBC.

The zone can produce as much as 500,000 bpd but has been shuttered for at least four years due to a dispute between the two countries.

Key Takeaways

  • The partition zone, or PZ, is one of several non-producing fields across OPEC countries that could be restarted to fill a void in global oil supply, Wirth said after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities reduced output from the world’s largest crude exporter.
  • Kuwait officials said in July that the country is in talks with Saudi Arabia over restarting production from the field.
  • The two sides resolved the major issues and only had technical points remaining, a person familiar with the discussions said in July.
  • President Trump is doing “exactly the right thing” in authorizing releases from the U.S.’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Wirth said.
  • It’s too early to assess the long-term impact on oil prices but the market has become too comfortable with geopolitical risk, he said. “These events demonstrate that these risks are real.”
  • U.S. shale producers won’t immediately be able to increase production to fill the void, Wirth said. “You can’t just flip a switch.”
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