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Middle East

Bahrain strikes biggest oilfield since 1932, dwarfing current reserves

The shale oil and natural gas discovered in a deposit off the island state’s west coast is understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 12:43pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 7:54pm

Bahrain has discovered its biggest oilfield in more than 80 years.

The “highly significant” oil and deep gas resource is thought to dwarf the Gulf kingdom’s current reserves, according to an official announcement on Sunday.

It is located in the Khaleej al-Bahrain basin, located off the country’s west coast.

“Initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil [light crude] and deep gas,” said Bahrain’s minister of oil, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa.

The reserves were discovered during the last three months of 2017 after Bahrain intensified its search for new fossil fuel deposits.

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad tweeted that a press conference on Wednesday would “provide additional details on the discovery, including initial findings of size and extraction viability”.

Bahrain is currently a minnow in the oil sector, ranked 57 on the list of biggest producers by the US Energy Information Administration.

It pumps about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field, according to Bloomberg data.

In comparison, Saudi Arabia is aiming to keep its production levels below 10 million barrels a day in April.

Industry consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac) have worked with Bahrain officials to evaluate the deposits at the Khaleej al-Bahrain basin.

“Demac evaluated the reservoir and test data, evaluated volumetric and recovery potential, and provided reports documenting both prospective and contingent resources. This is a project which breaks new ground for the industry,” a spokesperson said.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg