Iran Eyes Deal Over Kuwait Sea Border Before Year End

KUWAIT CITY Nov 25, 2007 (AFP via Dow Jones Newswires)

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday Tehran hopes to resolve a decades-old dispute with neighboring Kuwait over their maritime border before the end of the year.

"We hope to see an end to the issue before the end of the year," Mottaki told a press a conference when asked about demarcating the sea border which includes the offshore Dorra gas field.

"We are seriously studying the issue and it has been decided that concerned committees will meet before the end of the year. Legal advisors from the two countries are also studying the issue," he said.

The dispute dates back to the 1960s when Iran and Kuwait awarded offshore concessions to the former Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Co., now part of BP PLC (BP), and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) that overlap in the northern part of the Dorra field.

Recoverable gas reserves from Dorra are estimated at some 200 billion cubic meters.

Mottaki also said he had agreed with Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah to revive the issue of exporting Iranian natural gas to the emirate.

In March 2005, the two countries signed a $7 billion 25-year deal under which Iran will supply some 9 million cubic meters of natural gas a day to Kuwait.

Delivery was scheduled to begin in 2007 but the project has been delayed for reasons which haven't been made clear.

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