Japan's Arabian Oil Co Ltd is hoping to take part in developing the al-Dorra offshore gas field by providing technical support. "It is the company's wish to be able to participate in the development of the field," a company spokesman said, responding to a Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper report that AOC would be providing technical support for the project. Test drilling by AOC in 1967 put the Dorra field's recoverable gas reserves at 5.5 trillion cubic feet (156 billion cu meters), the spokesman said.
Kuwait was studying the possibility of AOC's participation favorably, he said. Acting Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah told reporters in May that it plans to drill for gas with Saudi Arabia in the Dorra offshore field, but not in disputed areas also claimed by Iran. He added that no date had been set to start work in the field, which is claimed by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Kuwait is eager to tap gas reserves in the area for badly needed gas supplies for local projects and power generation. The AOC spokesman also said the company hoped to receive approval from the Kuwaiti government on a new deal, mainly on technical services and oil supply, in August.
The two parties have reached a broad agreement on a deal that would replace AOC's 40-year concession in the Kuwaiti side of the Neutral Zone. The concession expires in January 2003.