US major Chevron this week began a maintenance shutdown at the Saudi/Kuwait Neutral Zone’s key Wafra field. Output had already dwindled amid a prolonged spat between the two otherwise GCC allies. Maintenance may have been hastily arranged in a bid to give the two sides breathing room to resolve their differences.

Chevron’s Saudi unit and its Kuwaiti partner have shut down the Wafra oil field for maintenance, as they wait for resolution of a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that has affected the US major’s operation on the Saudi side of the Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ). But with negotiations reportedly at a dead end, Kuwait has served notice that it might resort to arbitration, a move that would mark an escalation in relations between two regional and Opec allies. (CONTINUED - 1515 WORDS)