The joint development of the Dorra field between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait is pending the demarcation of the border with Iran

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia renewed its previous calls for the Iranian side to begin negotiations to demarcate the eastern border of the submerged area divided between the Kingdom and Kuwait as one negotiating party versus the Iranian side, in accordance with the provisions of international law.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that ownership of the natural resources in the divided submerged area, including the entire Dorra field, is joint ownership between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait only, and they alone have full sovereign rights to exploit the wealth in that region.

Kuwait agrees with Saudi Arabia that the marine area in which the Durrah Field is located is located in the marine areas of Kuwait and that the natural resources therein are shared between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which alone have exclusive rights to the natural wealth in the Durra Field. Kuwait therefore rejects Iranian allegations and actions towards the Dorra offshore field. According to officials’ statements, Kuwait will begin exploration and production in the Dorra field without waiting for the demarcation of the border with Iran, given that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have an “exclusive right” to develop the Dorra field.

The Dorra offshore field derives its importance from the fact that it contains huge reserves estimated at approximately 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in addition to 300 million barrels of oil. In March 2022, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with Kuwait to develop the field with investments amounting to $7 billion, which will open the way for the development of the joint operations area in Khafji.

It is worth noting that Iran claims its right to a share of the aforementioned field, known in Iran as (Arash), describing the Saudi-Kuwaiti agreement signed in 2022 as “illegal.” Iran has announced that the Dorra gas field is shared between Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and that Tehran reserves the right to exploit it.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait confirm their exclusive ownership of natural resources in the maritime “divided zone” in the Arabian Gulf, and that Iran has claims that are not based on a clear demarcation of marine borders.