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Amid an escalating political and operational dispute that took the 300,000 b/d Khafji field offline, Neutral Zone’s problems are set to go from bad to worse.
The spotlight is now focused on the Wafra field, which accounts for most of the Neutral Zone’s nearly 200,000 b/d of onshore production, as an intensifying political dispute between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait now leaves operator Chevron in an awkward spot.
Though the row has been downplayed by both sides, there may be far-reaching ramifications for future Neutral Zone developments if the dispute isn’t resolved shortly. Already, Kuwait has asked Chevron to move its Neutral Zone offices from Mina al-Zour. Kuwait alleges that Chevron’s offices overlap with the site Kuwait has chosen for its 615,000 b/d al-Zour refinery. The Saudis are unhappy with the designated site and were left out of discussions with Kuwaiti state-owned refiner KNPC when the latter decided to plant its expansive project on the Neutral Zone coast.
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