Nadia Al-Dabbas - Kuwait
In a move described by history, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement annexed to the Neutral Zone Partition Agreement, along with an agreement to divide the flooded area adjacent to the divided zone between them, as well as a memorandum of understanding.
The agreement paves the way towards the resumption of oil production from the joint fields, which will take place in stages in preparation for reaching full production capacity.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs embraced the signing ceremony, where the agreement signed on the Kuwaiti side, Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad, and on the Saudi side, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who also signed a memorandum of understanding to resume oil production with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Oil Minister Khalid al-Fadil.
These agreements culminated in shuttle tours of the talks that started last October, and were held by high-level Kuwaiti delegations in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to resolve the outstanding crisis between the two countries, with a view to re-operating in the divided oil region in which Riyadh stopped work abruptly in 2014, causing losses Material estimated at about forty billion dollars, split between the two countries.
The area of the divided or neutral zone - which lies between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the fields of Khafji and Wafra, is rich in oil - 5770 square kilometers, with both countries sharing their production, which amounts to 550 thousand barrels per day.
|The Kuwaiti and Saudi Energy Ministers visit the headquarters of joint operations in the Wafra field (Al-Jazeera Net)|
Triple Border Point
The signing of the agreements was followed by the visit of the Kuwaiti Oil and Energy Ministers to the joint operations headquarters in the Wafra field, where Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that under the agreement there was a three-way border point bringing together Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.
He mentioned that the two countries have succeeded in making arrangements that enhance sustainability and long-term cooperation and work as a team, and enable joint operations in abundance and Al Khafji to return production in a proper way.
In turn, the Kuwaiti Oil Minister revealed that the production process in Al-Wafra and Al-Khafji is not related to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the agreement to reduce production approved by OPEC weeks ago, stressing that the production process will benefit the two countries economically.
The general manager of joint abundance operations, Hatem Al-Ruwaili, said that the operation, which has been planned, will start first with diesel generators to provide energy for operations facilities, explaining that gas and light oil wells will be operated later, and heavy oil wells will be operated.
For his part, the oil expert, Dr. Abdul-Sami Behbehani stressed that the return of production to its previous levels needs a long time, attributing this to the presence of many fields that are not eligible at the present time to produce more than fifty thousand barrels per day.
|Production in the divided area reached 550 thousand barrels per day, but it has stopped since 2014 (Al-Jazeera Net)|
Behbehani added in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the inability of these fields to produce the target quantity is due to what he called "the randomness of the process of closing the fields" that took place about five years ago, noting that there are dozens of wells that are no longer operational, especially if it is taken into account that The oil in the wild is heavy and full of wax and needs repairs and rehabilitation before returning to full production capacity.
He affirmed that the concluded agreement needs the approval of the Kuwaiti National Assembly and the issuance of a law on it in order to become effective in accordance with Article 70 of the Kuwaiti Constitution.
The Khafji field is managed by Saudi Aramco, along with the Kuwaiti Gulf Oil Company, which is affiliated with the Kuwaiti government, which also represents Kuwait in managing the Wafra field, while Chevron International deputizes Saudi Arabia in its management.
As for the oil expert, Jaber Al-Harami, he considered that the most important characteristic of the agreement is the return of the Al-Zour region to Kuwaiti sovereignty, recalling the reason for the dispute that stopped oil production five years ago, when the Chevron company, the representative of the Saudi side in joint operations, refused to open a file for it in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor under The umbrella of its partner, the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, is the same as other foreign oil companies operating in Kuwait to facilitate the procedures of its workers inside the country, after the renewal of its concession by Saudi Arabia in 2009.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Harami explained that oil in the Al-Zour region and its waters remains shared between the two countries, but what is in the interest of Kuwait is that the agreement will push it to complete the construction of oil facilities there, which will be good for it and its neighbor, describing the agreement as the beginning of a new page in relations between the two countries The two neighbors and two brothers.