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Kuwait investing to meet any OPEC output increase

(Reuters) - Kuwait Petroleum Corporation chief said the Gulf producer had the capacity to reach its OPEC quota and was moving to its first offshore production as it invests to meet future oil demand.

"We are making the investments necessary to ensure that we can meet any new increases in terms of allocations and also in terms of demand," Sheikh Nawaf Saud al-Sabah said on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum organised by Bloomberg in Doha.

"We always like to maintain spare capacity about 10% to 15% above where we need to be just in case of supply disruptions around the world," he said.

Kuwait received its first offshore rig a week ago and it will be ready to begin drilling soon, he said without giving a precise timescale.

"We've been producing onshore for almost 90 years now and now we're moving on to the offshore for the first time," he said. "We should have good news on that sometime soon."

Kuwait is producing around 3.5 MMbpd and hopes to reach 4 MMbpd by 2025.

On Kuwait's new 615,000 bpd refinery, Sheikh Nawaf said he expected it to reach full capacity around the end of the year.

"We've already worked in the commissioning stages. The hydrocarbons are in the system. It's a hot site now," he said.

Originally designed to produce low sulphur fuel oil for power generation in Kuwait, much its production has been made available to the international market after the Gulf state secured enough gas for its own needs.

"Right now there is a tremendously good market for fuel oil, and whether it's bunker or diesel or whatnot. And we'll we'll use that. We will supply the world with that."

There are no plans to list units of KPC for now, but already monetising pipelines is a possibility.

"We looked at what Aramco and ADNOC have done, in terms of pipelines for example. It’s not something that’s completely off the table for us, it’s something that we’re looking at," he said.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba and Andrew Mills, writing by Maha El Dahan and Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Jon Boyle and Barbara Lewis)

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