Kuwait rejects Iran’s threats over gas field development

January 7, 2012

Kuwait has summoned the Iranian Charge d’Affaires in Kuwait City over recent remarks by Iran that it planned to develop unilaterally a disputed gas field.

Khalid Al Jarallah, the undersecretary of the foreign affairs ministry, presented a relevant protest to the Iranian diplomat Sayed Shihabi,” Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported. “The diplomat was summoned after the managing director of National Iranian Continental Shelf Oil Company (NICSOC) unveiled an Iranian plan to produce oil at the continental shelf area in a unilateral manner unless a relevant agreement was reached with Kuwait,” the official news agency said.

On Sunday, Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, the head of Iran’s Offshore Oil Company, said that Tehran would launch unilateral development of the disputed offshore Durra (Arash for the Iranians) gas field in the Gulf if Kuwait did not respond to its joint development offer.

“The emphasis presently is on joint partnership strategy rather than competition,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Zirakchianzadeh as saying. “We are hopeful to reach a conclusion with Kuwait over the development of the shared Arash field. However, if Iran’s positive diplomacy is turned down, we will be carrying on our efforts at Arash field unilaterally just as we did in Hengam oil field,” Zirakchianzadeh said.

Iran is developing on its own its part of the offshore Hengam oil field it shares with Oman.

However, Al Jarallah said that the disputed natural gas-rich maritime border area was subject to bilateral negotiations for final demarcation and neither side should act unilaterally in the area until it is fully delineated.
The Durra field, on the continental shelf between OPEC producers Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been a bone of contention between Tehran and Kuwait City since the 1960s.

For more than 10 years, the two countries have held unsuccessful talks to resolve the dispute.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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