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While Western oil giants are cutting production, state-owned companies are increasing


Kuwait announced last month that it plans to invest more than $6 billion in exploration over the next five years to increase production to four million barrels per day, from 2.4 million barrels now.

The United Arab Emirates, a major OPEC member producing four million barrels of oil a day, this month became the first state in the Persian Gulf to pledge to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But just last year, Adnoc, the UAE’s national oil company, announced it is investing $122 billion in new oil and gas projects.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, has invested heavily in recent years to increase oil production, aiming to increase production to eight million barrels per day by 2027, from five million today. The country is suffering from political unrest, power shortages and inadequate ports, but the government has signed several major deals with foreign oil companies to help the state energy company develop new fields and improve production of old ones.

Even in Libya, where warring factions have paralyzed the oil industry for years, production is rising. In recent months, it produced 1.3 million barrels per day, a nine-year record. The government aims to increase that total to 2.5 million barrels per day within six years.

National oil companies in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina are also working to produce more oil and gas to increase revenues for their governments before oil demand falls as richer countries reduce their use of fossil fuels.

After years of frustrating disappointment, production in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow, oil and gas field has soared this year. The field had never delivered more than 120,000 barrels of oil per day, but is now expected to end the year at 200,000 barrels per day, according to Rystad Energy, a research and consulting firm. The government, considered a climate leader in Latin America, has proposed legislation that would boost even more production.

“Argentina is concerned about climate change, but they don’t see it as their primary responsibility,” said Lisa Viscidi, an energy expert at the Inter-American Dialogue, a research organization in Washington. She described Argentina’s vision, adding: “The rest of the world needs to reduce oil production worldwide, but that doesn’t mean we need to change our behavior in particular.”

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