Iran condemns Saudi-Kuwaiti deal on Arash gas field as ‘illegal’
The maritime border in this resource-rich area has yet to be demarcated between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait
By News Desk - March 26 2022

(Photo credit: Tehran Times)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has described a joint deal between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to develop the Arash gas field as “illegal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on 26 March.

The Arash–Al Durra gas field lies within a maritime zone shared between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Khatibzadeh noted that “parts [of the gas field] … are located in areas between Iran and Kuwait whose water boundaries have yet to be defined.”

“Based on international regulations and procedures, any attempt to exploit and develop this field would be subject to coordination and cooperation among the three states. Therefore, the recent move by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia within the framework of a cooperation document is illegal, goes against ongoing procedures and previously held talks, has no impact on the legal status of the field, and the Islamic Republic of Iran does not approve of it,” Khatibzadeh declared in the foreign ministry statement.

Khatibazadeh also said that Iran is ready to enter trilateral negotiations between all three countries for the development and extraction of resources in the Arash–Al Durra gas field.

On 21 March, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signed an agreement to exploit and develop the Arash–Al Durra gas field, and share the output equally between Saudi Aramco and the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company.

The area intended to be developed reportedly has around 1 billion cubic feet of gas and can produce 84,000 barrels per day.

The development of this gas field began in the 1960s, but the demarcation of maritime borders between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran has yet to be determined through negotiations.

In total, the entire disputed area has an estimated 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil.

In an interview with Al Mayadeen on 25 March, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that Iran-Saudi relations “are not good, but Iran is not responsible for that, and has expressed its readiness for the fifth round of dialogue.”

Most Popular