A major hurdle to the planned restart of oil production from the joint Saudi-Kuwaiti Neutral Zone was overcome this week when Kuwait’s parliament voted in favor of the agreement reached in December (MEES, 3 January). Energy sector projects in Kuwait have frequently been dogged by parliamentary opposition, particularly when foreign companies are involved. The presence of Chevron as Saudi Arabia’s representative at the onshore portion of the Neutral Zone has proven contentious.
Parliamentary approval paves the way for a restart of output this year for the first time since 2015. Bloomberg quotes Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel saying that production will begin in March. However, this week’s vote doesn’t rule out future opposition from MPs, and development of the Neutral Zone may yet suffer from political obstruction. (CONTINUED - 128 WORDS)