Middle East / Africa

Kuwait flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Kuwait

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Size: 17820 sq. km total (Land area: 17820 sq. km )
Population: 2,596,799
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Government: constitutional emirate
Capital city: Kuwait
Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KD)

Country profile

Kuwait's economy is heavily dependent on oil export revenues. Current high oil prices are producing a surge in oil export revenues for Kuwait, with 2005 the best year for oil export revenues in the past decade. Non-oil sectors of the Kuwaiti economy, particularly services, have also experienced strong growth fueled by the inflow of oil revenues. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an estimated 4.8 percent in 2005, while inflation was running at around 4.1 percent. Despite its currently strong macroeconomic position, including sizable fiscal and trade surpluses, Kuwait would like to diversify its economy away from near-complete dependence on oil revenues. Currently, the country relies on oil revenues for around 90-95 percent of total export earnings and around two-fifths of GDP. Kuwait channels around 10 percent of its oil revenues into the "Future Generations Fund" for the day when oil income runs out. The bulk of this reserve is invested in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In order of importance, foreign assets are believed to be invested in stocks and bonds, fixed yield instruments (mostly short term), and real estate. Kuwait follows a generally conservative investment policy.

With approximately 65 percent of the population under the age of 25, and with around 90 percent of employees in the private sector currently non-Kuwaiti citizens, creating jobs for young Kuwaitis is a major objective of the government. Kuwait hopes to attract additional foreign investment, and has started a program to privatize state-owned businesses (outside the oil sector). Privatization is complicated by the need to protect the jobs of Kuwaiti citizens, who traditionally have been employed mostly (over 90 percent) by state-owned enterprises and the government.

In March 2001, Kuwait's national assembly passed the "Foreign Direct Investment Act," which aimed at promoting foreign investment. Among other things, the Act eased restrictions on foreign banks, provided long-term protection to foreign investors against nationalization or confiscation, and eliminated the requirement for foreign companies to have a Kuwaiti sponsor or partner. In the oil sector, the Kuwaiti constitution forbids foreign ownership of Kuwait's mineral resources, but the Kuwaiti government is exploring allowing foreign investment in upstream oil development under terms (see below for more details) which provide for per-barrel fees to the foreign firms rather than traditional production sharing agreements (PSA's). The Kuwaiti government is currently making an attempt to enact legislation to facilitate foreign investment in the upsteam oil sector, as part of its "Project Kuwait" initiative to boost production capacity. The Kuwaiti parliament is expected to take up the proposed legislation sometime in late 2006, but with strong opposition from several legislators .

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 2 million bbl/day (2005 est.) 11 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 333,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 11 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 2 million bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 2,611 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Reserves: 101 billion bbl/day (2007 est.) 1 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Kuwait - recent news

24 Feb 21
Kuwait: Petrofac complets the integration of Kuwait Oil Company’s new Crude Oil Control Centre
Taking the operations of one of the Middle East’s biggest upstream projects into a new era, Petrofac's Lower Fars heavy oil development project team has completed the successful integration of Kuwait Oil Company’s new Crude Oil Control Centre, where Petrofac’s expertise has been used to upgrade technology and equipment, improving the effectiveness of operations.
03 Feb 21
Kuwait: Halliburton to provide digital solutions for Kuwait Oil Company
Halliburton has been awarded a contract from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to collaborate on their digital transformation journey through the maintenance and expansion of digital solutions for their North Kuwait asset.
10 Dec 19
Kuwait: ADES secures new contracts in Kuwait
ADES International has secured its first onshore deep drilling contracts under a Lump Sum Turnkey project in Kuwait with Baker Hughes for ADES 180 and ADES 878.
03 Sep 19
Kuwait/Iraq: ERCE signs consultancy contract for cross-border field development
ERCE has signed a consultancy contract for cross border field development between Kuwait and Iraq. ERCE will perform technical and economic development studies whilst preparing cross-border agreements on the Safwan-Al-Abdali and South Rumail / Al-Ratqa – Ratqa oil fields.
01 Jul 19
Kuwait: KOC awards Halliburton an Integrated Offshore Services contract
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and Halliburton have signed an Integrated Offshore Drilling Services contract for six high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) exploration wells on two jack-up rigs in the Arabian Gulf.

Kuwait - more news

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