Iran anger at Saudi gas plans

Iran has said that a recent agreement signed between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to develop the Arash/Al-Durra gas field is “illegal,” as Iran has a stake in the field and the Saudi-Kuwait agreement has run contrary to what had been previously negotiated.

According to the website of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said parts of the gas field are located in areas between Iran and Kuwait whose water boundaries have not been defined.

Any move aimed at extracting or developing the field must be made in coordination with all three countries and through joint cooperation, he noted.

The recent move by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to sign a cooperation document on the development and exploitation of the offshore gas reserve is contrary to the common procedures and earlier negotiations and will not be approved by Iran, Khatibzadeh noted, adding Iran reserves the right to exploit the gas field.

Iran has repeatedly voiced its readiness to enter negotiations with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the exploitation of the gas field while also continuing bilateral talks with Kuwait on establishing the offshore reserve’s boundaries under the framework of their previous negotiations, he said.

Iran is also prepared to launch trilateral talks with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the gas field, Khatibzadeh added.

According to a statement released by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation earlier this month, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed a deal to develop the Arash/Al-Durra gas field, which is projected to generate one billion standard cubic feet per day of gas and 84,000 barrels per day of condensates. ■

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