Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi and Kuwait reassert claims to Durra oil field

Iranian oil minister Javad Owji Reuters
Iranian oil minister Javad Owji said in 2022 that the country would begin its own production in the disputed region
  • Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have renewed claims to Durra oil field
  • Iran claims ownership of part of the field, which it calls Arash
  • The field could produce 84,000 barrels of oil per day

Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have made renewed claims that they own the disputed Durra offshore oil and gas field.

The state news agencies of each country cited unidentified government sources saying they are the sole owners.

The statements reignited a decades-old quarrel with Iran, which also asserts sovereignty over part of the area.

Saudi’s press agency cited a foreign ministry source, who called on Iran to negotiate with the kingdom and Kuwait to finally determine the eastern border of the disputed area.

An unidentified source at Kuwait’s foreign ministry made similar remarks to its news agency, claiming Durra’s natural resources were shared by the sheikhdom and Saudi Arabia.

Government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) estimates the field could produce 1 billion cubic feet of gas and 84,000 barrels of oil per day.

The field – known as Durra to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and referred to as Arash by Iran – is situated in the northern Gulf.

The British imperial administration failed to draw up clear boundaries for this region when establishing borders, and classified it as a “neutral zone” due to the nomadic Bedouin tribes who inhabited the area.

In March 2022, Reuters reported Iran as describing an agreement by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to develop Durra as illegal, saying it also owns part of the field.

Nonetheless, last December, subsidiaries of KPC and Saudi Aramco signed a further memorandum of understanding to exploit the field.

Following the discovery of oil, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia partitioned Durra, with the duo sharing production revenue, according to an April 2022 report by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

It adds: “A degree of tension over this arrangement persists.”

According to Iran’s state-owned Press TV, the Saudi-Kuwait arrangement, which dates back to the 1960s, is “inaccurate and acquisitive and unacceptable” to Tehran.

Iran and Kuwait began talks to develop Durra in 2000 but failed to come to an agreement, Press TV noted.

In April 2022, Iran’s oil minister Javad Owji vowed to start production in the area in response to Kuwaiti-Saudi attempts to claim it for themselves.

The dispute has slowed the field’s development, which could provide much-needed gas for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

A 2008 report by Deborah Jones, US ambassador to Kuwait at the time, suggested that officials from Kuwait’s national oil company expected gas production at Durra would start in 2016, according to cables published by Wikileaks

Latest articles

Over the first half of the year Sanad Group signed deals with international airlines including Asiana Airlines and Deucalion Aviation

Mubadala-backed Sanad Group reports 53% revenue growth

Sanad Group, the Abu Dhabi-based global aerospace engineering and leasing company, has seen revenues increase by more than half over the first six months of the year. Figures released to AGBI show revenue totalling AED2.3 billion ($620 million) was reported in the first half of the year, up from AED1.5 billion over the same period […]

Malaysia’s HSS Engineers Berhad and its emirati consultancy HSS signed the deal top oversee construction with the Baghdad municipality

UAE company in joint venture to build Baghdad metro

A Malaysian engineering company and its UAE affiliate have jointly won a $316 million contract to oversee the construction of the new Baghdad metro. The building of the planned 148-kilometre network and its 64 stations across the Iraqi capital was slated to begin this month and end in 2029. This timeline might be delayed, however, […]

Amanat's listing represents the third education IPO in the UAE over the past two years

Amanat to list its education platform

Amanat Holding, an investment company in Dubai, has announced plans to list its education platform. The move will be the third education-related initial public offering in the UAE in the last two years, following the listing of Dubai’s Taaleem in 2022 and Abu Dhabi’s Alef Education earlier this year. Amanat, which specialises in healthcare and […]