Iran’s oil minister says Tehran will pursue its rights over a disputed maritime field in the western tip of the Persian Gulf shared with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia if they shun cooperation.
“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 on Sunday, according to the Oil Ministry’s SHANA news agency.
Called Arash in Iran and Durra or Dorra by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- the offshore field was discovered in 1967 and is estimated to have a total proven reserves of around 310 million barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia insist that Iran has no right over the field, claiming “exclusive” right, while Iran says any development without its consent is “illegal” according to international laws as it claims 40 percent of the field located in its territorial waters.
Kuwait's oil minister Saad Al Barrak told SkyNews Arabia July 27 that his country will start drilling and begin production at the gas field without waiting for border demarcation with Iran, reiterating the two Arab countries’ position that Iran must validate its claim to the field by demarcating its own maritime borders first.
As controversies surrounding the case are escalating, the disputed maritime field in the Persian Gulf has become a litmus test for the recent détente between Tehran and Riyadh.