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Kuwait says Iran is no party to development works at disputed gas field

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kuwait says development of a gas field claimed by Iran is entirely a bilateral issue with Saudi Arabia.

Kuwaiti authorities insist development works at a disputed gas field in the Persian Gulf should exclude Iran despite clear statements from Iranian authorities suggesting they will soon start tapping the field.

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah said on Tuesday that Iran can be involved in talks on continental shelf demarcation related to the so-called Durra gas field which is located on maritime borders of Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

However, Sabah said that Iran cannot be a party to development works at the field.

He was quoted as saying by Kuwait’s official news agency Kuna on Twitter that the field is “exclusively owned by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia”.

The minister had said earlier in the day in a press briefing with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian that the Durra gas field is a tripartite issue between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

That comes as Iran says it has every right to develop the field, which it calls Arash, as authorities have rejected as “illegal” a recent agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to jointly develop the field.

The two Arab countries plan to produce 1 billion standard cubic feet (28.3 million cubic meters) per day of gas and 84,000 barrels per day of condensates from the field under a deal signed on March 21.

However, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Monday that drilling works will soon begin at Arash, a field discovered in 1967 which is believed to be containing around 20 trillion cubic feet (566.3 billion cubic meters) of natural gas.

Owji said that Iran had already completed exploration works and seismic surveys at Arash, adding that production from the field will begin as soon as a jacket is installed on the offshore reservoir.

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