Kuwait's former foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, held talks with the Iranians in 2006, but the talks failed to reach a consensus. Technical committees were formed between the two countries but were unable to find appropriate solutions.
Iran has continued to be intransigent and unwilling to define maritime boundaries; it tries to control the production of the field, although technical studies have confirmed that the part near the Iranian border contains only 5% of the field's reserves.
Since December 2019, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have stressed the importance of developing the field. In March 2022, the oil ministers of the two countries signed minutes of a meeting confirming the right of the two countries to exploit the Durra field and its natural resources in the divided area.
They reminded Iran of the importance of defining the eastern border of the so-called submerged divided zone. Iran objected to the minutes at the time, arguing that it is also entitled to the field and must be involved in development and operation plans.
Tensions escalated as Iran announced its intention to start drilling and exploration in the Durra gas field in preparation for installing drilling rigs and carrying out seismic studies.
A source at the National Iranian Oil Company said the company was in the process of drilling and would then begin production.
Iran wants the demarcation of the border to be from the Iranian Kharg island to the Kuwaiti mainland, which is illogical. Kuwait demands that the demarcation be from Failaka Island to Kharg Island.
On his part, Iranian political analyst Imad Abshanas said that the dispute over the Durra field is due to Iran's insistence that the demarcation of the border is based on the continental shelf, which would mean that 40% of the field would be in Iran's territorial waters.