Saudi minister sees deal with Kuwait to resume oil output from Neutral Zone in 2019

NEW DELHI, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday the country expected to reach an agreement this year to resume oil output from the Neutral Zone it shares with Kuwait.

“We hope in 2019 it will be resolved,” he said, when asked when Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could reach an agreement.

“I am confident,” al-Falih said, referring to possibility of a resolution in 2019.

The energy minister met with the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, on Tuesday.

Resuming production from the Neutral Zone’s oilfields could add up to 500,000 barrels per day each to the oil output of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The Saudi–Kuwaiti Neutral Zone, or Divided Zone, is an area of 5,770 square km between the borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that was left undefined when the border was established by the Uqair Convention of Dec. 2, 1922. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Alasdair Pal; Editing by Mark Potter)