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Saudi, Kuwait expect to restart Neutral Zone oilfields this month

DUBAI, Dec 4, (RTRS): Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are expected to agree this month to resume oil production from the jointly operated oilfields in the Neutral Zone that lies between both countries, industry sources told Reuters on Sunday. The closure of the Neutral Zone’s fields, mainly Khafji and Wafra, has become a political sticking point between the two Gulf OPEC allies and senior officials have been trying to resolve the issue for months.

Khafji was shut in October 2014 for environmental reasons and Wafra has been shut since May 2015 due to operating difficulties. The restart would come at a sensitive time for the oil markets after OPEC agreed last week to reduce output by around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January in a bid to reduce global oversupply and prop up prices.

A resumption of production from the joint oilfields would not be immediate and would be gradual, industry sources said. “It will take some time,” said one industry source, adding that the decision to restart the fields was likely to be made in December.

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