More than three years since production from the joint Saudi-Kuwaiti Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ) was halted completely, rumors are again swirling that a restart is looming. Kuwaiti officials have always claimed a resumption was imminent, but a new voice was this week added to the chorus, raising expectations that this time it could be different.

Japan’s Toyo Engineering announced on 2 July that its services contract with Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) – the JV responsible for operating the PNZ’s offshore fields – had been extended to 2023. It slipped in the nugget that KJO now “starts the preparation work to reproduce the oil from the fields from 2019.” (CONTINUED - 819 WORDS)