Ras Al Khafji is a town on the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It lies in what was before 1970 a neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Japanese-owned Arabian Oil Company Ltd signed a concession agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia in December 1957 and with the government of Kuwait in July 1958 for exploration and development of hydrocarbon reserves in the offshore Neutral Zone. The Arabian Oil Company discovered the Kafji oil field in 1960 and the Hout oil field in 1963.
It was only after the discovery of these oil deposits off-shore of Khafji that a permanent demarcation of the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was established, with Khafji formally located within Saudi Arabia. However, the agreement concluded that both states would still maintain joint rights to all natural resources within the designated neutral zone. With the termination of the Arabian Oil Company lease to explore and extract within the area, operations within the Khafji Fields reverted to a joint venture between shareholder companies representing both states, with production being split on a 50:50 agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Khafji’s notoriety, however, is primarily owed to the Battle of Khafji, which took place in and around the town in 1991 and marked the high tide of Iraq’s advance through Kuwait and into Saudi Arabia