Iran Expresses 'Surprise' over Kuwaiti Claims of Gas Poaching in Gulf

Published May 11th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran said Thursday it was surprised by Kuwaiti claims that it had been drilling in an offshore gas field claimed by the emirate, Iran News Agency (IRNA) reported. 

"Iran is ready to discuss its territorial borders with Kuwait, just as two years ago we presented the question to Kuwaiti officials who have yet to give us a response," IRNA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying. 

It said there was a "surprise" at the claims by Kuwaiti oil sources, who reported Wednesday that the Islamic republic had been drilling in Kuwait's portion of a Gulf sector shared by Iran, Saudi Arabia and the emirate. 

The Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) said Monday that Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah had sent a letter to his Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh urging Tehran to stop drilling in the Dorra gas field, said AFP Thursday. 

The Dorra field is located in a sector of northern Gulf waters where the demarcation of the continental shelf is subject to rival claims by Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 

"This situation will harm relations if it continues. We need this gas, but we did not utilize it because of politics", a Kuwaiti source told AFP, adding that Kuwait had asked other countries to mediate in the dispute. 

He did not name the countries, but Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah last week paid a short visit to Saudi Arabia and delivered a message to Saudi leaders - (Agencies) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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