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Wed 26 Aug 2015 01:41 PM

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Kuwait summons Iran envoy over disputed gas field reports

Kuwait angered at reports that Iran had published brochure on investment opportunities at Dorra gas field

Kuwait summons Iran envoy over disputed gas field reports

Kuwait has summoned the Iranian charge d'affairs and handed him an official protest over reports that Iran had published a brochure on investment opportunities at a disputed gas field, state news agency KUNA said.

The agency, quoting a foreign ministry statement, denied there had been any change to the status quo of the Dorra field which lies on the continental shelf between OPEC producers Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The off-shore gas field has been a bone of contention between Tehran and Kuwait since the 1960s. Iran said in 2012 it planned to develop the portion under its control, and which it calls Arash field.

KUNA, quoting an official source at the foreign ministry, said it summoned the Iranian charge d' affairs on Sunday, following reports that the Iranian National Oil Company had issued a publication for investment opportunities in Iranian oil and gas fields, including in parts of the Dorra field.

"The foreign ministry is taking all the necessary measures to safeguard the rights of the state of Kuwait within the context of reinforcing its ties on the regional and international levels and which conform to international law," KUNA reported.

Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Tuesday that Iran had offered foreign investors two projects to develop the extension of the Dorra field, despite Kuwaiti objections to any work in the area before the demarcation of the continental shelf.

The reports prompted the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament to demand a clarification from the foreign ministry.

Iran has reached a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers which could start easing international sanctions on Tehran by next spring.

In 2013, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait shelved a project to develop the Dorra field after disagreeing over how to share the gas back on land.

The Dorra field is estimated to hold 60 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).