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Iran Insists It Will Not Give Up Rights To Disputed Gas Field

Iran will not give up an “iota” of its rights to make use of an offshore natural gas field disputed with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Wednesday.

“We will not give up even one iota of Iran’s right to make use of the Arash field,” Owji was quoted as saying by Iranian media today.

“We announced to Kuwait that ... we are ready to make use of this field jointly, and that we regard this as the [undeniable] right of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the minister added.

The dispute flared up earlier this year when Iran announced plans to start drilling at the field, which it calls Arash, while Kuwait and Saudi Arabia call it Dorra.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have called on Iran to first demarcate its own maritime border as a way of validating its claim to 40% of the Arash/Dorra field.

Last week, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Saad Al Barrak said that Kuwait would begin drilling and gas production at the field without waiting for border demarcation with Iran.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Owji said that his country would “pursue its rights” in the dispute over the gas field.

“If there is no willingness to cooperate, Iran will pursue its rights and benefits, including the exploitation and exploration of the Arash gas field, and will not tolerate any violation of its rights,” Javad Owji said, as quoted by state news agency Shana.

The Arash/Dorra field is estimated to hold some 310 million barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Iran claims it holds the rights to 40% of the offshore field.

The flare-up in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran comes just as the two made the first steps to a thaw in relations, including the resumption of diplomatic links and talks about an end to the war in Yemen.


By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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