Bahrain announced on Wednesday the size of the oil reserves in the giant discovery that it had made, and figures dwarf the proved reserves that the island kingdom in the Persian Gulf had prior to the latest oil find.
The huge discovery in west Bahrain, named Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin, is estimated to hold more than 80 billion barrels of oil, Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa said at a press conference today. The volume of natural gas at the field is estimated to be between 10 trillion and 20 trillion cubic feet, AFP quoted the minister as saying on Wednesday.
Bahrain announced a few days ago the biggest crude oil discovery in its history that will “dwarf” its current reserves, and details on the size of the reserves were expected to be released later this week.
Before the latest oil discovery, Bahrain was estimated to have proved reserves of just 125 million barrels of crude.
International oil companies are currently helping Bahrain to carry out appraisal studies at the new discovery, and to quantify how much of the oil and gas in place can be extracted, Al-Khalifa said.
Oil extraction from the field is not expected to begin for at least five years, according to Yahya al-Ansari, manager of exploration at national oil firm Bahrain Petroleum Company. Related: Houthi Missile Hits Saudi Oil Tanker
Bahrain is the smallest oil producer in the Persian Gulf, drawing its oil from the Bahrain Field at a rate of 45,000 bpd, and from the Abu Safah field that it shares with Saudi Arabia, which produces around 300,000 bpd. Bahrain’s daily total, including oil from Abu Safah, averages around 210,000 barrels.
Under a bilateral agreement from 1958, the two countries share the revenues from the field, but Aramco is the operator. Bahrain, for its part, refines its share at its single Sitra refinery before selling the production.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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It will certainly be a game changer for Bahrain’s economy. Moreover, Bahrain could apply to become a member of OPEC.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London