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Iran dismisses Saudi-Kuwait gas field deal

PoliticsIran dismisses Saudi-Kuwait gas field deal

Tehran (Times Of Ocean)- Iran has rejected an agreement between Persian Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to develop an offshore gas field as “illegal”, saying it must be included in the agreement.

Iran asserts that it has the right to develop, operate offshore gas fields.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Durra/Arash gas field – located in the interlocking marine region between Kuwait and Iran – is a joint offshore gas field shared by the three countries.

In his strong opposition to the agreement signed on Monday between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the Iranian spokesman said Iran reserves the right to develop and operate the field in coordination with the other two parties.

The agreement was inked on Monday between Kuwaiti Oil Minister Mohammad Al Fares and his Saudi counterpart Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud, who announced that the project will be developed jointly by Aramco Gulf Operations Company and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company with the countries sharing the output equally.

According to reports, the gas field is expected to produce 1 billion cubic feet of gas and 84,000 barrels of condensate each day.

Developed in the 1960s and yet to be delineated between Iran and Kuwait, the gas field contains an estimated 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil.

Developing and operating the gas field must take place with the cooperation of all three countries, Khatibzadeh said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as it has affirmed many times before, is ready to enter into negotiations with the neighboring countries, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, on how to exploit this common field, within the framework of the results of previous negotiations with Kuwait,” the spokesman said.

Iran is also ready to continue bilateral talks with Kuwait and start trilateral talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to “define a joint point.”

Ali Ahmadi, a Tehran-based MENA and strategic affairs expert, said the issue is that part of the Durra/Arash gas field extends into waters “whose boundaries have yet to be clearly defined by Iran and Kuwait.”

“There have been some talks on these issues in the past. Iran believes that any Saudi-Kuwaiti agreement would, therefore, be exploiting gas that is partially under Iranian waters and rightfully Iran’s in part,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“There have been some talks on these issues in the past. Iran believes that any Saudi-Kuwaiti agreement would, therefore, be exploiting gas that is partially under Iranian waters and rightfully Iran’s in part,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“Ideally, the three countries would work out an agreement and share the proceeds to the benefit of all involved but regional tensions and US sanctions complicate this task,” Ahmadi added.

Kuwait and Iran have been in dispute over the exploration of the gas field since it was discovered, according to Mohammad Obouyi, a Persian Gulf affairs analyst, and it is coming to light once more following the Saudi-Kuwait agreement.

“The gas field is of huge significance for Iran, both financially and strategically, as it lies in a sensitive border region and contains large reserves of gas,” he said. “Objections are thus legitimate.”

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