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KOC CEO Hashem Hashem (Image courtesy of KOC)

Kuwait plans to award a $4.3 billion contract later in the year for the first phase of a project to produce heavy oil at its northern Ratqa field.

The announcement was made by the CEO of state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Hashem Hashem.

The project is to boost the efforts to meet Kuwait’s target of producing 4 million bpd by 2020.

It currently produces 3 million bpd, exporting around two-thirds.

The deadline for bids for the engineering, procurement and construction contract is May 11, but could possibly be extended.

Hashem said, “This is for facilities needed to develop heavy oil, to be able to produce up to 60,000 (bpd). All the international EPC contractors showed interest, and they are actively participating in this bid.”