ALMATY (Yonhap) -- The Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) will soon increase its presence in Kazakhstan under massive investment plans to significantly bolster its oil production here, the company's top official in the Central Asian country said.
The state-run KNOC has four production fields and four undergoing exploration in Kazakhstan that currently churn out about 15,000 barrels of oil per day.
"The company plans to increase its daily production level here to 50,000 barrels within the next few years, which will then make up a considerable amount of Kazakhstan's total daily production of 1.5 million barrels," Ryou Sang-soo, president of KNOC's Kazakhstan branch, said in a recent interview with reporters.
Increasing production will be realized partly by adding a significant number of new oil wells at each of the existing fields, which means hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in new investment, most of which will be funded by the KNOC's existing assets in Kazakhstan.
"The Kazakhstan branch no longer receives any money from KNOC headquarters in Seoul as its key mines produce enough cash to fund their own operation and new investment," Ryou said in his Almaty office.
One of KNOC's most valuable assets, also the company's most successful investment, is ADA Oil LLP, a joint venture in which the KNOC has a 40 percent stake. The company has an exploration field that currently produces about 3,500 barrels of oil per day in Kazakhstan's western Aktobe Province.
Ryou said a new site at the ADA mine in Aktobe was showing "very positive" signs with the outcome of a complete study due later this month.