Iran Open to Selling Gas to Kuwait
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh said Wednesday that Iran is open to selling natural gas to Kuwait, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Zanganeh's statement came following discussions in Tehran earlier in the day with Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, who said Kuwait was interested in buying gas from Iran.
During these talks, Zanganeh expressed Tehran's willingness to "satisfy a part of the Kuwaiti gas need."
He said a group of experts will be formed "to determine the volume, quality, price and terms of the transfer, as well as the deal's duration."
Since his arrival for a three-day visit on Monday, Sheikh Saud has met repeatedly with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Zanganeh on the oil markets and OPEC decisions, as well as on the eventual demarcation of a disputed maritime area rich in gas and oil.
Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia, estimated at 20 trillion cubic meters (700 trillion cubic feet).
The country is also the second biggest oil source in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, producing 3.7 million barrels a day, of which 2.4 million goes to export.
Iran is involved in a three-way dispute with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the demarcation of the border through the northern Gulf continental shelf. That area includes the Dorra gas field, estimated to contain three to five percent of the world's known gas reserves.
The dispute intensified when Iran started drilling in the Dorra field earlier this year. Iran halted drilling on May 13th after complaints by Kuwait, but continued to maintain that the field was part of Iranian territory.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi recently told a Saudi newspaper that Tehran was ready for direct talks with Kuwait to resolve the dispute over Dorra and that there were no "fundamental differences."
Recoverable gas reserves of Dorra are estimated at some seven trillion cubic feet (200 billion cubic meters), with potential daily output of between 600 million and 1.5 billion cubic feet (17 and 43 million cubic meters) - TEHRAN (AFP)
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