Kuwait and Iraq have signed a contract with UK firm ERC Equipoise to conduct a study of oil fields straddling their shared border.

The agreement was reached in Amman, Jordan, on 2 August and is the first concrete development in almost a decade’s worth of bilateral negotiations between the neighbors on the issue. As bilateral relations have warmed in recent years, prospects for a breakthrough have brightened.

Kuwait’s then-oil minister Bakheet al-Rashidi said in August 2018 that...