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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Halt Oil Production In Neutral Zone

Wafra oil field

Oil production the neutral zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has stopped until the parties reach an agreement, Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA reported on Tuesday, citing Kuwait’s Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi.

The production halt was due to technical issues and reasons, Al-Rashidi told the Kuwaiti Parliament on Tuesday.

“I would like to stress that there is no production in the Neutral Zone, neither from Kuwait nor from Saudi Arabia,” Reuters quoted Al-Rashidi as saying. “We are working with the Saudi side to resolve the technical issues and we will soon be able to restart production by both sides,” the minister noted.

The so-called Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ) was established between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1922 to settle a territorial dispute between the two countries. According to estimates by the EIA and the Oil and Gas Journal, the 6,200-square-mile area holds 5 billion barrels of oil and 1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas.

Following the discovery of oil at Wafra in the 1950s, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait agreed to the common ownership of the zone’s oil and gas resources. The resource-sharing principle between the two states has remained in place, even after the countries settled an international boundary in 1969. Related: Norway’s Oil Discoveries On Track For Best Year Since 2010

As of 2015, the oil production capacity in the neutral zone stood at 600,000 bpd, equally divided between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, according to the EIA.

Onshore production in the neutral zone is concentrated on the Wafra oil field, which began pumping at the end of 1953. Wafra is the largest of the onshore fields in this neutral zone, with some 4.9 billion barrels in estimated recoverable reserves. Wafra is considered a super-giant heavy field.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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