Iraq may open its border with Kuwait for the first time in 20 years to ease shipments of equipment for major oil projects, an oil ministry spokesman said.
In a telephone interview with Bloomberg from Baghdad, Asim Jihad said: “The Ministry of Oil may open the border with Kuwait to facilitate the shipment of heavy equipment for international oil companies” working in Iraq.
The border between the countries has been shut since the army of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. The US-led attack known as ‘Operation Desert Storm’ forced him to pull his troops out of Kuwait the next year.
Relations were tense until Hussein was removed from power by a US-led military invasion in 2003. Iraq, holder of the world’s third largest oil reserves, held two licensing rounds last year for hydrocarbon investments. It started a third round for natural gas fields this year.
The ministry’s keen to help international companies to speed up development of the fields to increase crude production within preset schedules, Jihad said.
The ministry has already started to provide measures that facilitate the work of contractors, including entry visas for foreigners, he said.
(Picture: Kuwaiti oil fires during Operation Desert Storm)