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    Iran says it will forge ahead with Dorra/Arash development


The country's oil ministry said it reserves the right to develop its part of Dorra/Arash after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait struck an agreement to exploit their share.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Political, Territorial dispute, News By Country, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

Iran says it will forge ahead with Dorra/Arash development

Iran has reiterated its claim to develop its section of the offshore Dorra/Arash gas field in the Persian Gulf despite a demarcation dispute with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the country's oil ministry said on March 27.

The ministry's Shana news service confirmed Dorra/Arash was being prioritised independently of an agreement struck between Saudi Aramco's Gulf Operations Company and Kuwait Gulf Oil Company last week.

Dorra, known in Iran as Arash, straddles offshore waters owned by Iran and in the neutral zone of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It contains around 13 trillion ft3 in gas reserves, but Iran and Kuwait are at loggerheads on a demarcation line between the two countries.

Talks to resolve the dispute broke down in 2000, and Tehran now argues the Saudi-Kuwait pact violates international laws as it was not consulted. National Iranian Oil Corp has said it is ready to progress its share of the field unilaterally.

"Iran reserves the right to develop this joint gas field," the ministry said. "According to international regulations and procedures, any action in the operation and development of this field must be done in coordination and cooperation of all three countries."

The oil ministry said that despite its announcement it stood ready to "negotiate" with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but that its share will be developed regardless of any agreement with Kuwait. Dorra/Arash's maximum production is expected to be 1bn ft3 of natural gas and 84,000 barrels of condensate/day. Tehran claimed Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had agreed to split production on a 50-50 share basis.