Iraq Border to Open to International Oil Companies

July 19, 2010 Updated: July 20, 2010

Despite difficult relations, an Iraqi oil official said Monday that Kuwait has given initial approval to open its border for crossing by international oil firms working in Iraq oil fields.

The new border crossing will aid the inflow of equipment for oil companies working on the Safwan and Rumaila oil fields, said the director of the Oil Ministry's licensing office, Abdul-Mahdy al–Meedi, according Reuters.

Iraq wishes to upgrade its oil production capacity from 2 million to 12 million barrels a day in the next six years, according to a report by Iraq newspaper Al- Sabah. But insufficient dock space and corruption at Kuwait’s Umm Qasr port, would impede the proposed expansion.

Contracting companies secured initial approval to cross the border after negotiations with the Kuwaiti government, al–Meedi said in the Reuters report. Relations between Iraq and Kuwait have been strained since of the Gulf war in the 90s.