Dubai: Kuwait has rushed to assert that relations with Saudi Arabia are robust and distinguished as it launched a probe to determine how a secret correspondence between oil ministers of both countries had been leaked.
In the letter, excerpts from which were published by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai, Kuwait warned the continued closure of the Khafji oilfield it shares with Saudi Arabia will result in huge losses that Riyadh must compensate for in future.
Relations between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are deep-rooted and robust and are based on outstanding foundations that serve the common interests of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Ali Al Shamri, the chief executive of Kuwait Gulf Oil Co (KGOC), said, Kuwaiti media reported.
He added that the oil company management was upset over the leak of the correspondence between the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil ministers and that it set up committee to investigate the leak and to take all the measures against all those implicated in it.
The company will also take all the necessary precautions to ensure such a leak would not be repeated, he added.
Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat stated that the letter revealed a contradiction between Kuwait’s public and private positions on the dispute, noting that Al Omair had publicly stated last month that the dispute with Saudi Arabia on the Khafji and Wafra fields was close to ending.
In the leaked letter, Kuwait’s oil minister Ali Al Omair told his Saudi counterpart Ali Al Naimi that Saudi Arabia would bear Kuwait’s huge losses from keeping Khafji oilfield production and exports shut as a result of its violation of an article in the 2010 agreement between the two countries regarding operations.
Al Omair reportedly added that the decision to shut down production was taken unilaterally by Saudi Arabia in violation of the bilateral agreement.
He said Kuwait’s suggestion to resume production with 100,000 barrels a day had been rejected without explanations.
According to reports, the Khafji oilfield produced up to 300,000 bpd before the closure.
“I urge your Excellency to take the necessary measures to reverse the decision and resume common production at Khafji oilfield,” Al Omair wrote. “I draw your attention again to the fact that by keeping production and exports shut, Kuwait will incur huge losses which will be borne by the Saudi government for violation of the 2010 operations agreement.”
The Khafji production was stopped in October reportedly to comply with environmental regulations.