Kuwait May Not Renew Rights of Japan's Arabian Oil

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03/10 06:32 Kuwait May Not Renew Rights of Japan's Arabian Oil, AFP Says By Kirsten Fogg

Kuwait City, March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Kuwait's oil ministry told Japan it may not renew a contract that gives Arabian Oil Co. drilling rights in the offshore neutral zone shared with Saudi Arabia, Agence France-Press said, citing the Al-Anba newspaper.

``I informed Japan's minister of economy, trade and energy that it would be difficult for Kuwait to renew the concession agreement on the basis of the current terms,'' oil ministry undersecretary Issa al-Oun told the newspaper.

Tokyo-based Arabian Oil lost a Saudi Arabian production contract last year after Japan declined to fund the construction of a $2 billion railway, AFP said.

Japan imports all of its crude oil, and almost 90 percent of the supplies come from the Middle East, AFP said.

The company failed in February of last year to renew the 40- year contract with Saudi Arabia to pump oil from the kingdom's share of the neutral zone, which it shares with Kuwait.

Arabian Oil currently relies for most of its oil production and revenue on the contract with Kuwait in its portion of the neutral zone, an agreement that expires in January 2003.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), March 11, 2001

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