Restart would alleviate fears of global supply crunch. But is it really likely?
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.”
Unfortunately for the PNZ’s admirers, Toyo appears to have overstepped the mark. Its statement was quietly amended to say that “KJO is planning to...