Al-Durra Gas Field: Exclusive Ownership by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers have made it clear that the Al-Durra gas field is exclusively owned by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In a statement issued by the bloc, they rejected any claims from other parties regarding rights in the field or the submerged area adjacent to the designated borders between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
This announcement comes in response to Iran’s oil minister stating that his country will pursue its rights and interests in the exploitation and exploration of the field. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have criticized Iran’s plans, with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan calling for negotiations to demarcate the eastern border of the area. Kuwait’s oil minister, Saad Al-Barrak, expressed surprise at Iran’s actions, stating that they contradict the basic principles of international relations.
According to the GCC statement, the ownership of the natural resources in the submerged area adjacent to the Saudi-Kuwaiti divided zone, including the entire Al-Durra field, belongs solely to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They have full rights to exploit the wealth in that area.
In December, the Joint Al-Khafji Joint Operations, which comprises Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and Aramco for Gulf Operations, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the Al-Durra gas field. Production at the divided zone has recently resumed after completing maintenance. It is expected that the field will produce about one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, along with 84,000 barrels of liquefied gas.
The Al-Durra gas field is located in the Arabian Gulf and is a common submerged area between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Situated within the Al-Ahsa governorate, it holds strategic importance and potential wealth, attracting the attention of neighboring countries, particularly Iran.
The dispute over ownership and exploitation rights stems from differing interpretations of maritime boundaries and conflicting claims by Tehran. In 2001, Iran began granting contracts for exploration in the field, prompting Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to finalize the demarcation of their maritime borders, which included the Al-Durra gas field.
In addition to addressing the Al-Durra gas field issue, GCC ministers also rejected Iranian occupation of the three UAE Islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa. They called on Iran to engage in dialogue and consider Emirati efforts to resolve the issue. The ministers emphasized their support for the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf, and economic zone. They declared that any practices or actions carried out by Iran on the islands are null and void and have no effect on the UAE’s sovereignty.
The statement from the GCC ministers reaffirms the exclusive ownership of the Al-Durra gas field by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It sends a clear message to Iran and other parties that they have no rights in this field or the adjacent submerged area. The resumption of production at the divided zone is a significant step towards utilizing the natural resources in the area and further strengthening the partnership between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
As the development of the Al-Durra gas field progresses, it is expected to contribute significantly to the energy sector in the region. The production of natural gas and liquefied gas will not only meet domestic demand but also have the potential for export, boosting economic growth and diversification.
The resolution of ownership disputes and the establishment of clear boundaries are crucial for maintaining stability and fostering cooperation among neighboring countries. The GCC’s firm stance on the Al-Durra gas field issue demonstrates their commitment to upholding their rights and interests while promoting peaceful dialogue and diplomatic solutions.
In conclusion, the Al-Durra gas field is exclusively owned by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as stated by the GCC foreign ministers. Their rejection of claims from other parties and the resumption of production at the divided zone highlight the importance of this field and the determination to utilize its natural resources. The resolution of ownership disputes and the support for sovereignty over the UAE islands further emphasize the GCC’s commitment to regional stability and cooperation.