Technical Support, Consultation, and Research
Providing Resources and Expertise
Improving Oil Recovery
Enhancing Petroleum Refining Flexibility

Improving and Upgrading Heavy-Oil Production


Kuwait has abundant proven reserves of oil and recent discoveries suggest that Kuwait has significant heavy oil reserves as well. Heavy Oil in Kuwait ranges from conventional (easy to produce) 16 °API in lower Fars and unconventional (difficult to produce) tight oil and Tar-Mats. Among the unconventional oil are appreciable amounts of shale oil. Developing these reserves in an environmentally compliant and sustainable manner is a national priority. The challenge of increasing national production to 4 million barrels per day will depend in large part on our ability to develop and adapt the technologies necessary to be able to exploit these heavy oil reserves.


The Heavy Oil Program will establish a reservoir knowledge hub that will maintain advanced databases and offer advanced training and selected consultancy on issues related to the exploitation of heavy crude reserves in Kuwait. This facility will have state-of-the-art laboratories (technology) and capable staff (skilled manpower) to support the national and regional region industry oil sector with applied engineering solutions.

Program Thrusts

Tarmat Reservoir Characterizations — Significant reserves need to be characterized especially from southeast Kuwait fields located in Burgan.
Heavy Oil Reservoir Rock & Fluid Mobility Characterizations — Static and dynamic studies to evaluate potential recoveries from Heavy oil available in Tayyarat Burgan field, west Kuwait Tayyarat oil, Ratqa-Lower Fars formation, and Wafra joint operation fields.
Reservoir characterization integrations (unconventional rock specialty).
Reservoir formation damage management — Asphaltenes and emulsion associated problems in the reservoir as well as production lines.
Oil field water management — Steam associated with heavy oil production techniques, as well as corrosion and scaling issues.


Commissioning of the Geochemistry detection and fingerprinting labs to enhance our abilities for scanning with XRF, fingerprinting with elemental analyses, pyrolysis fingerprinting, SARA extract analysis, GC-MS compositional and Bio-Marker detection. This facility is important in heavy oil fingerprinting, recovery screening and potential, as well as reservoir description and characterizations.