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Bahrain discovers new field with estimated 80 billion barrels of tight oil

EBR Staff Writer Published 05 April 2018

Bahrain has made what it claims to be the county’s biggest ever oil field discovery with an estimated reserves of at least 80 billion barrels off the country’s coast.

The tight oil field, which is also estimated to hold up to 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, was discovered in Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin in shallow waters off the country’s western coast.

The discovery has been confirmed by US-based oil consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton and oilfield services company Halliburton, following independent appraisals.

Bahrain Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Agreement has been reached with Halliburton to commence drilling on two further appraisal wells in 2018, to further evaluate reservoir potential, optimize completions, and initiate long-term production.”

The oil minister said that the kingdom intends to attract overseas oil and gas companies to develop the resources.

However, officials did not give the exact production figure expected from the newly discovered oil reservoir. 

Bahrain’s National Communication Centre said: “The newly discovered resource, which officials expect to be ‘on production’ within five years, is expected to provide significant and long-term positive benefits to the kingdom’s economy – both directly and indirectly through downstream activities in related industries.”

Bahrain has also reported a separate discovery of significant gas reserves in two accumulations below the country’s main gas reservoir.

Production from the first well in the drilling program is scheduled to start in August. Over the next two years, the country intends to focus on maximising production and commercial efficiency of the gas reserves.

Bahrain currently produces about 50,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bahrain field as well as another 150,000 barrels per day from the Abu Saafa field, which is jointly owned with Saudi Arabia, BBC News reported.

Image: The newly discovered oil field is located in Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin offshore Bahrain. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.