Kuwait’s oil production, since the first shipment in 1946 until the end of the first quarter of this year, is 51.8 billion barrels and the quantities of oil burned and/or ‘wasted’ during the Iraqi invasion are estimated at about two billion barrels, thus bringing the total oil extracted from the Kuwaiti oil fields amounted to 53.8 billion barrels.
According to a historical survey prepared by a local Arabic daily based on the annual OPEC statistics and the British Petroleum Company BP archives, Kuwait recorded the highest daily production in the early 1970s, specifically in 1972, when daily production reached 3.35 million barrels, the highest in the history of Kuwait, and since then it has not reached this level of production again, while the lowest production was recorded in 1991 with 190,000 barrels per day.
It is noteworthy to make a mention that prices between 1946 and 1975, when the Kuwait Oil Company was fully owned by the Government of Kuwait, were imposed by major foreign oil companies, in accordance with concession agreements concluded with the government.
The figures about Kuwaiti oil production from 1960 to 2022 are according to Kuwait’s share in OPEC, in addition to that the figures include the production of the divided zone.
It is noticeable that oil prices during the 1940s and 1950s were controlled by the seven major oil companies including the Exxon, Mobil, Shell and the British BP. The revenues of Kuwaiti crude oil at that time were determined according to concession agreements signed between Kuwait and several companies in 1934, 1948, 1949, 1958, 1961, and the agreements amending them, according to which Kuwait obtained from the sale of its oil between 3 Indian rupees per English ton and 2.5 dollars per English ton according to the concession agreement, in addition to annual fees and taxes on concession rights, and these agreements were amended several times to increase the percentage of returns, until the oil companies were nationalized and foreign companies were compensated in 1975, so that the sale of oil fell in the hands of Kuwaitis, and the oil revenues were completely exclusive to Kuwait.
In the mid-1980s, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation was able to sell its oil at a price higher than the price of its Saudi counterpart (Arab medium) by a difference of one and a half dollars, and at a price higher than its counterpart Iranian crude oil (Iran heavy) and the difference was two dollars, but the situation did not last long due to the fluctuating market conditions.
Kuwait’s oil history
– The Kuwait Oil Company Limited was founded in 1934, by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company now known as BP, and Gulf Oil, now known as Chevron.
– In 1938, oil was found in commercial quantities in the Burgan field.
– In June 1946, the late Amir of the State of Kuwait, HH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, inaugurated the export of Kuwait’s first shipment of crude oil.
– In 1975, the Kuwait Oil Company became 100% owned by the Kuwaiti government, while the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation was established in 1980 to include all state-owned oil companies.
– The Iraqi invasion in 1990 destroyed the company’s facilities, but within months after the liberation of Kuwait, in February of 1991, production gradually returned to its full capacity.