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Kuwait to export oil from joint fields after 5-year halt

April 3, 2020 03:38 PM


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Kuwait announced Friday it will export its first crude shipment from oilfields in a shared neutral zone with Saudi Arabia that had been shut for five years due to a dispute.

Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel said that around one million barrels will be loaded on Saturday and Sunday onboard a Kuwaiti tanker "whose final destination will be the Asian markets", according to the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signed an agreement in December to resume pumping at two major oilfields in the shared neutral zone that had been closed due to a disagreement between the neighbours. The two fields were pumping some 500,000 barrels per day before production was halted, first at Khafji in October 2014 and then at Wafra seven months later.

Riyadh said at the time that the decision was due to environmental issues. The oil produced in the neutral zone in the border area is shared equally between the two nations.

The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia ramps up supply amid a price war with Russia that has sent oil prices crashing to 18-year lows as demand slides amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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