State-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) said Thursday it has signed a contract worth 48.35 million dinar (around 170 million U.S. dollars) with an Italian company for laying down a crude oil pipeline.

That was part of the company’s plan to inject 17.5 billion to 24.5 billion dollars into oil and gas facilities in the next five years.

The official KUNA news agency said the Italian company ABB Italia will build a crude pipeline from northern Kuwait to the central mixing unit and the northern reservoirs.

The pipeline will be able to transport 315,000 barrels of oil per day, and is vital to the company’s plan to hike its output in the northern fields, the KOC said.

KOC was established in 1934 and taken over by the government in 1975 to become a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, an umbrella entity for the Gulf Arab emirate’s oil industry. KOC focuses on the exploration and production of oil and gas.

Kuwait is the fourth-largest exporter of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and boasts around 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The emirate’s oil output capacity stands at 3.1 million barrels per day and pumps out around 2.3 million barrels per day under OPEC’s quota.

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