Wed 05 Jul 2023 9:43 am - Jerusalem Time
Saudi Arabia asserts that only Kuwait and it own the rights to a gas field disputed with Iran
Riyadh confirmed on Tuesday evening that "only Saudi Arabia and Kuwait" have the right to exploit natural resources in a gas field disputed with Iran, after Tehran announced its willingness to start exploration in the field located in the waters of the Gulf, which are rich in natural resources.
The field, known in Iran as "Arsh" and in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as "Al-Durra", Tehran says is located within its exclusive economic zone, in a dispute that began several decades ago.
And the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, according to an informed source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that “the ownership of the natural resources in the divided submerged region, including the entire Durra field, is joint ownership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait only, and they alone have full sovereign rights to exploit the wealth in that region.” ".
The source added, "The Kingdom renews its previous calls for the Iranian side to start negotiations to demarcate the eastern border of the submerged area divided between the Kingdom and Kuwait as one negotiating party in exchange for the Iranian side."
On Monday, Kuwait renewed its call on Iran to resume maritime border demarcation talks.
Kuwait insists that it has "exclusive rights" to the offshore field with Saudi Arabia, and the two countries agreed to develop it jointly last year.
Last year, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to develop the field, despite objections from Tehran, which described the deal as "illegal".
Last week, the executive director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Mohsen Khajesteh Mehr, said, "We are completely ready to start drilling operations in the Arash field," according to what was reported by Iran's Fars news agency.
Khajeste Mehr's remarks came as Riyadh and Tehran strengthened their cooperation in the wake of a surprising decision to resume relations announced in March, after relations had been severed between the two rival regional powers for seven years.
The dispute over the Dorra field dates back to the sixties of the last century, when Iran granted a maritime concession to the Anglo-Iranian oil company, which later became "BP", while Kuwait granted the concession to "Royal Dutch Shell".
The two concessions overlap in the northern part of the field, whose natural gas reserves are estimated at 220 billion cubic meters.
Iran and Kuwait have held talks for years about their gas-rich maritime borders, but they have all failed.
Saudi Arabia is part of the conflict, given that it shares offshore gas and oil resources with Kuwait in the region.