HOUSTON (AP) _ Kuwait is considering allowing Western oil companies to explore and develop new oil fields near the Iraqi border as security buffer for the Persian Gulf nation, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Industry officials said they learned about the possible move from Kuwaiti government officials, the Houston Chronicle reported.
A spokesman for the Kuwaiti embassy in Washington said he had no information on the matter.
Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and was routed by a U.S. led international military force. Experts said Kuwait may want a line of foreign oil companies at the Kuwait-Iraq border to perhaps deter another Iraqi invasion.
"It's a security strategy," said Vahan Zanoyan of the Washington-based consulting firm Petroleum Finance Co. "It has nothing to do with oil."
But Terry Hallmark, manager of political risk and policy assessment for Geneva-based Petroconsultants, said he doubted the plan would deter Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from sending troops into Kuwait if he wished.
"My judgment is that's kind of a flimsy safeguard, because he's likely to care not," said Hallmark, who works in Petroconsultants' Houston office.
The notion of using foreign oil …