Tehran March 28 2022: Iran is set to develop its part of a shared natural gas field that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in recent days said they agreed to jointly develop, the oil ministry’s Shana news service reported on March 27.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signed an agreement for the development plan of the Dorra gas field, called Arash by Iran, according to a statement by both countries on March 21. The offshore field is partly in the Neutral Zone shared by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The two decided to share the production equally out of total capacity of 1 Bcf/d of natural gas and 84,000 b/d of condensate daily. Iran’s foreign ministry called the agreement illegal because part of the field is within Iran’s borders.
“The oil ministry has seen necessary preparations and carried out studies to develop and use the shared field of Arash,” Ahmad Asadzadeh, deputy oil minister for international and commercial affairs, said, according to the Shana report. “The reason to have delayed using this shared field was pending decision in demarcation disputes with Kuwait. But given that the other side, regardless of the previous talks and unilaterally, moves to develop the field, there is no reason for delay,” Asadzadeh said.
Even without demarcation of the borders, it is possible for all three countries to work together on development, he said. “The oil ministry expresses its readiness for talks in this regard.” Iran’s foreign ministry backed that position, with spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh saying:
“The Islamic Republic is ready to negotiate with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia” including “bilateral talks with Kuwait to mark boundaries,” according to a report by state news agency IRNA.
Iran began talks with Kuwait in 2000 to develop the field but no agreements were reached. In 2013, state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said it had jackets and rigs ready to develop the field and that if talks did not lead to a development plan, it would have the right to go ahead alone.
Arash was discovered in 1962 in the Persian Gulf with around 13 Tcf of natural gas.