0156 GMT August 15, 2022
In a joint statement, the two Persian Gulf nations called for holding negotiations with Iran on defining the eastern boundary of the submerged divided zone where the joint field is located, arabnews.com reported on Wednesday.
The recent decision by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to develop the Durra offshore gas field which Iran calls Arash has revived a longstanding dispute on how to share the resources of the reservoir in the Persian Gulf.
The natural gas field is located on the maritime borders of Iran and Kuwait, but with the recent agreement, the Saudis are granting the Iranian portion of the Esfandiar oilfield, which it shares with Iran, to Kuwait, in return for the Kuwaitis giving the Iranian share of the Arash field to Saudi Arabia.
The recent signing of a document by Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation to develop the field opens the way for the production of at least one billion cubic feet per day of gas and 84,000 barrels per day (bpd) of condensate.
The sticking point here is that, firstly, Saudi Arabia has no share in Arash and secondly, according to the recent agreement, gas production is divided equally between the two Arab neighbors without considering Iran’s share in the field which is estimated to be more than 70% in Iranian waters.
The news of the agreement drew a strong reaction from Iranian officials who called it illegal, prompting Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji to announce Iran’s plan to set up a drilling rig in the field in the near future.