Bahrain announces discovery of largest oilfield since 1932

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Bahrain on Sunday announced the discovery of a new tight oil and deep gas resource in the Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin, located off the west coast of the Kingdom.

The find represents the largest discovery of oil in the Kingdom since 1932, when extraction started on Bahrain’s first oil well within the Bahrain Oil Field, reported Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

Bahrain relies on the Abu Safa oilfield for the majority of its oil, and shares the field with Saudi Arabia.

BNA also reported that the Ministry of Oil will host a press conference on Wednesday in Bahrain to provide additional details on the discovery, including initial findings of size and extraction viability.

The new resource is forecast to contain highly significant quantities of tight oil and deep gas, understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves.

The announcement was made by Bahrain’s Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security, chaired by Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince.

Commenting on the announcement, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said: “Following the initial discovery of the resource, detailed analysis of the find’s content, size and extraction viability has been undertaken alongside internationally-renowned petroleum industry consultants, DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac).

“Today we announce that initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil and deep gas.”

The government confirmed that modeling and analytical studies are ongoing, led by Bahrain’’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) working alongside private sector partners, aimed at detailing the ultimate quantity and market value of the find.

A DeGolyer and MacNaughton spokesperson said: “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.”

Directive from King Hamad

The discovery, which is expected to support extensive, long-term downstream activities, follows a recent uplift in oil and gas exploration projects undertaken in response to a directive from King Hamad to the Higher Committee for Natural Resources and Economic Security to increase exploration activities.

Last year the Committee took the decision to accelerate initiatives to explore sites to the west of Bahrain, which resulted in the discovery of the resource and oil being struck in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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